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The Hanging Garden

  R Closed Captioning

Thom Fitzgerald

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Plot Summary

Thom Fitzgerald's award-winning debut film, tells the elliptical tale of a 25 year-old gay man, Sweet William, who returns to his family in Nova Scotia after a 10-year absence, only to discover that his family is just as dysfunctional as ever. His sister is about to marry a man who makes eyes at William across the room while his father boozes it up, as usual. Plagued by visions of his miserable youth and confronted by the paths taken by his equally pained siblings, William is both appalled and inspired, and resolves to take control of the past and his present.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 16
  • Fresh: 15
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: It would be a lot easier to dismiss The Hanging Garden if its fetishized details weren't so naked and boldly autobiographical. – Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine, Apr 28, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

An Accomplished Film

I am reviewing this film based on when I first viewed in back in 1999. It has remained in my memory as one of the most honest films regarding Homosexuality, childhood pain and the dysfunctional family. These actors were all splendid in their roles, especially the actors in the roles of Sweet William's mother, the character of Sweet William himself and the actor who played Sweet William as a young boy.

The story has an interesting twist that will keep you discussing it long after. It is both deeply moving and troubling! It's worth the watch!

Hard to play in the middle

This quiet film does something well which is hard to do. It takes subjects like abusive fathers, closet cases, and co-dependents and makes them human. This movie seems to say "we're all in this together". If you scratch the surface on any of us you will find a major character defect. So why do we demonize each other? The way the movie treated these subjects made it possible to understand and appreciate their difficulties.

“I come to the garden alone………."

Want to see some powerful acting? Well, this is it - not to mention the directing, etc.
I would recommend this film to anyone - it is by no means a “gay movie” - far from it.
I really enjoyed the gentleman who played the father - when he starred in the series, “Queer as Folk”. For the most part, I have been very impress by many of the films coming out of Canada - especially the independent ones and those funded by the Canadian arts community. I have willing added this film to my personal film library.

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The Hanging Garden
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1997

Customer Ratings

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