Milwaukee, Minnesota

Release Date: June 3, 2005
Limited release

Gee, I really love that Fargo movie.

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There seems to be a rule in Hollywood that a mentally-challenged character must be an idiot savant. So Forrest Gump could run really, really fast; Rain Man was a mathematical genius; and the protagonist in Milwaukee, Minnesota, Albert, is an ice-fishing prodigy.

OK, so ice-fishing prodigy doesn’t seem like it’s all that great a skill, but neither did running really, really fast or being able to do complex mathematical equations very rapidly and without aid of calculators until they came in handy in the plot, either. Apparently, there’s a great deal of money to be made ice-fishing, and Albert - who supposedly can hear the fish as they move under the ice - is a huge success. But when his mother, who is also his primary caregiver and staunch protector, is killed in a hit-and-run accident, Albert, his ice-fishing prowess and all that lovely money are exposed to those that prey upon the weak and helpless. Or at least the protoin of them that reside in Milwaukee. Which I could have sworn was in Wisconsin, but then again, I suck at geography, so who knows?

Milwaukee, Minnesota debuted at the 2003 Sundance Festival, and went on to play the Milwaukee (natch) Film Festival, as well as festivals in France, Canada and the Czech Republic. After a limited release in the UK last year, the film is now scheduled for a limited release in the US later this year. With even the best reviews of the film - of which there aren’t many - remarking on its almost relentless quirkiness for its own sake, Milwaukee, Minnesota will have a tough time drawing audiences when it hits the art-house circuit, for unlike some films, indie character studies live, and often die, by the critics’ word. However, the film has picked up some awards at the festivals where it’s played, and the universal praise of two major supporting performances in the film, Randy Quaid and Bruce Dern, certainly hold out promise. Audiences will be able to judge for themselves later this year, and good word-of-mouth could buoy the film amongst the art house crowd.

And maybe then someone will explain the title. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Milwaukee, Minnesota
Main Cast Troy Garity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern
Supporting Cast Hank Harris, Debra Monk, Josh Brolin, Holly Woodlawn
Director Allan Mindel
Screenwriter Richard Murphy
Distributor Tartan Films
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 95 minutes
Screen Count 3
  • 2003 Cannes Film Festival, Allan Mindel, Young Critics Award Best Feature
  • 2003 Deauville Film Festival, Allan Mindel, "Première" Audience Award
  • 2003 Seattle International Film Festival, Allan Mindel, New American Cinema Award

Awards page for Milwaukee, Minnesota
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Milwaukee, Minnesota
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Other Sister, The 2/26/996.62 7.88 1343 4929.00 5627.6 27.80 33.12 4.20
Used People 1/22/934.38 6.37 876 5000.00 7004.8 17.18 25.02 3.30
Marvin's Room 2/28/973.25 4.26 1153 2819.00 3562.1 12.79 16.80 3.28



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