When the Sea Rises

Released 2004


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When the Sea Rises

Movie Summary

Yolande Moreau
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When the Sea Rises is a 2004 love film that depicts the offbeat, loving romance experienced by a travelling, but homeless, dramatic performer named Ir''ne (Yolande Moreau). Irene's existence is mundane in every aspect; she wanders from location to location and her actual homelessness begins to become as real to her spiritual self as it is to her physical self. Irene's curse is only lifted when she is allowed to perform her act, which is her method of channeling her positive energy into something constructive. In spite of her relationship with her dull husband, Irene cannot help but feel a strong amount of rushing affection towards a warm and loving man she invites onto her stage and later out to drinks, a show balloon worker by the name of Dries (Wim Willaert). Irene's newfound meaning is put to the test against the chains that hold her to her old life. The film's rare genuine and rare portrayal of mature romance lends to the depth of its story.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    And as you watch her (Moreau) sink into this semiautobiographical role (she was herself a touring performer in the 1980's), the character emerges as a deep, multilayered woman: kin...

  • 63

    New York Daily News Jami Bernard

    There's something sweet yet chilling in When the Sea Rises. If it had explored more of the chill, it might have turned into a knockout, absurdist thriller.

  • 60

    Variety Lisa Nesselson

    Modest but spot-on co-helming debut by actress Yolande Moreau (the concierge in "Amelie") and Gilles Porte is beguiling in the slightly surreal vein of the best of contempo Belgian...

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Foreign Language