perhaps not my favorite film but a perfect one. (by vabalos)
A dark story told with amazing weight and balance, it is cinematically perfect. Aside from the excellent performances by Wilkinson, Spacek and Tomei, it isField's film. He uses a deft touch to examine the lives of a couple devastated by loss. The perfection of this film lies in the small touches, the subtle gestures, the powerful symbolism that Field displays throughout. Even the most powerfulmoment, the shooting, is done off camera. It isn't so much what you see, its what you don't, what Field implies throughout the film. He creates moments in this movie that convey complex <more>
emotion through subtle actions. The film createsunsettling scenes without being disturbing. Reflections of actors moving as if underwater through their lives, we see them caught in the windows of theirhome, ghosts in their house and in their lives, struggling to cope until the film's resolution. Attempting to heal each other and themselves through a single act of redemption that seems at the same time surprising and inevitable. It isn't my favorite movie, but i still think it's as close to a perfect film i've seen.
wow...pay attention for Sissy Spacek's name at this year's Oscars... (by poetellect)
So simple. So honest. So heartbreaking. I dare you to see this movie and not go through a self-invasive, heartfelt understanding for the familial and emotional conflicts these characters go through. one of the best films shown at Sundance, hands down. Not a movie for the emotionally squeamish...brutally powerful... Violent, excruciating truth and beauty...the raw emotional power imbued into the scenes with Wilkinson and Spacek are Oscar-worthy. Marisa Tomei finally gets a role worthy of her talent since My Cousin Vinny. Utterly unforgettable, and a slam-dunk certainty for some kind of oscar, <more>
Revenge shown to be illusion in this realistic work. (by Erick-12)
The film is, as all the critics say, emotionally involving, wrenching and all that. Acting is natural and realistic, down to the nitty-gritty. The valuable and rare thing here is that the story works against the most common plot at the movies today: the revenge plot. Here instead, revenge gets a more ambiguous and thoughtful treatment. We are accustomed to being flattered as an audience, sent home feeling good that "our" side wins in the end against the evil. In this film that stereotypical and simplistic Good vs Evil is taken apart. The revenge leaves us feeling unusually <more>
unsettled, which is a very good thing in a deeper sense.
something's going on in the bedroom (by Evil_Will_Hunting)
9 out of 10Watching Todd Field's feature film debut `In the Bedroom,' I could not help but be impressed by the sheer audacity of the film, by the spot-on performances, and by the many twists and turns that no critic should reveal. Yet amidst all the film's obvious strengths, there was still something missing-something to tie it all together, something to endow the film with more than just a fleeting impression.Ironically perhaps, I was provided this missing bit of information not by the film, but by a male audience member sitting at the end of my aisle, trying to explain the point <more>
of the film in less than derogatory terms to his female companion.`You're missing the whole point of the film,' he said. `It was all about men being controlled by women.'No doubt he read this interpretation from someone else's review of the film and what a sweet piece of justice it would be if that critic were a woman . It is quite possible that he was not even aware of the ramifications of what he had said. But this man's legitimacy aside, his statement has not left me since, and the film in turn has had the same luck in escaping me.We are first introduced to Frank Fowler Nick Stahl, `Bully' and Natalie Strout Marisa Tomei, `My Cousin Vinny' , he a young college student with no immediate plans to settle down, she an older divorcee raising two children. They are in love, though for Frank she is little more than a `summer fling.' Meanwhile Natalie's ex-husband, Richard William Mapother, `Mission: Impossible 2' , is unwilling to let her out of his life, and begins to be physically abusive to Frank. Frank's parents, Matt Tom Wilkinson, `The Full Monty' and Ruth Sissy Spacek, `The Straight Story' -both in top form here-show appropriate concern for their only son, and they intervene in this dangerous love triangle with unexpected twists and tragic results.The film jumps about in tone from a light romantic romp to a seeming political treatise to a creepy, nocturnal thriller. Some have criticized the film for this alleged inconsistency in tone, slow pacing, and a deliberate ending. But these naysayers have overlooked the point.Frank may not even really love Natalie, so much as he loves being controlled by her and sating his mother by being with her. Richard becomes a threat to everyone because he is unwilling to let Natalie consider him out of her life; he is a slave to her whim. The resulting tension reveals a rift between Frank's parents, and in particular, his father's actions in the end demonstrate a helpless allegiance to his wife and her command.Field, who up until now has been primarily an actor he was the piano player in `Eyes Wide Shut' , understands these important points but does not beat the viewer over the head with them. He presents a reality more raw and true than any other piece of film in recent memory. Yet he does so with a restraint that Hollywood seems to have forgotten. Most of the film's violence is overheard or implied, and only explicitly shown when necessary for the audience to completely understand what has happened. This allows for more subtle details, like a bridgekeeper who must run around in circles to alternate traffic between the road and the sea, to emerge as truly haunting, lasting images.But `In the Bedroom' is not about any of these things. It is, first and foremost, about its characters. It does not fall prey to plot mechanics, nor does it flinch at exploring even the most sympathetic characters' darkest sides. For this and so many other reasons which are best left discussed behind closed doors between loved ones, `In the Bedroom' succeeds at turning the camera on flawed relationships of all forms, and it is one of the best films of the year.
A rarity in modern cinema, In the Bedroom is a movie for thinking adults that is one of the most thorough yet subtle examinations of violence and its consequences I've ever seen. Tom Wilkerson gives a masterful and restrained performance, and Sissy Spacek and nearly everyone else is uniformly excellent. Although it is a searing and unflinching look at nearly unspeakable grief, it is poignant and thoughtful and even has scenes of humor if you are ready for it. Todd Field's screenplay is one of the most brilliant in recent memory. I really wish we had more mature stuff like this coming <more>
out of Hollywood. Powerful films that deal with violence and its aftermath and meaning like this make films like Kill Bill look even more repellent than they already are.
An exceptional film which emulates the astounding talents of Tom Wilkinson. I thought he was OK in The Full Monty, but he is exceedingly well cast in the role of father who is grieving inside the loss of his only child. Tom acts with intelligence and resounding compassion as a man driven to revenge. The film is delivered and directed with a slow build up of tension towards a shocking and absorbing climax. This film offers great performances from the ensemble of actors and is directed intelligently. It maybe a tragic and slow film but it will leave the audience empathising with the characters <more>
rather than sympathising with them. A truly remarkable and contemporary film.
A powerful exploration of grief (by RadicalTintin)
With top-notch performances all round, this emotional rollercoaster delivers punch. Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek deliver heart-rending performances as their world gradually falls apart, with warts and all there for us to see. As the story develops the intensity keeps pace, and one cannot help fill deep empathy with characters that struggle to adapt to a world that has robbed them of something most precious. An explosive finale is delivered, and the film may not have won a clutch of Oscars, but has won the minds of the cinema-going public. Excellent.
Realism at a time of need... (by dwaynarhino)
I really enjoyed this movie. I thought that the screenplay was well-written in the aspect that the conversations between the people were portrayed as real. The characters never lost their spunk even as the movie got more serious. I think that the movie did a good job of taking a commonplace situation and twisting it into a movie worth spending two hours watching. I also liked the analogy of the title. The lobster reference was brilliant and in a time of meaningless titles, In The Bedroom created a title that spoke volumes about the relationships between the characters. I also think that it is <more>
a shame that this movie didn't win more Academy Awards. I think that during it's election year, it was one of the best movies made. I feel that this movie might have been looked upon as too deep, but I think that it contained just enough lightheartedness to keep it interesting. I think that the movie allows the viewer to lose themselves in the movie which I think is something that all movies should strive for. Luckily, I got to view this movie, and I think you should too.
"In the Bedroom" is a 2001 film that examines the ramifications of grief on a marriage. This was done in "Ordinary People" where the focus was really on the son and his coming to terms with a family tragedy. In "Damage," the focus is on a love affair that brings tragedy to a family. "In the Bedroom" is about two people, Ruth and Matt Fowler Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson dealing with unacceptable loss. Their college-bound son Frank Nick Stahl is dating a separated and almost-divorced woman Natalie Marisa Tomei with two small children. She's <more>
older than he is, and her almost ex Richard William Mapother is violent, volatile and obsessed with her. He badly wants to reconcile. Frank's mother Sissy Spacek is disapproving of the union while his father Tom Wilkinson believes it's a summer fling and doesn't intrude. During an altercation with Richard, Frank is killed. Natalie, en route down the stairs at the time, doesn't see Richard pull out the gun, so Richard ends up looking at a manslaughter charge. When the Fowlers learn that the man who murdered their son won't get the punishment that is really due him, they are devastated.Ruth, on leave from teaching music, sits on the couch all day watching TV and smoking cigarettes while Matt goes back to his practice as a doctor. The two basically stop speaking and interacting. When they finally have a confrontation, they each blame the other for Frank's death, Matt claiming Frank kept seeing Natalie to spite the controlling Ruth, and Ruth insisting that Matt gave his "approval" for the relationship because he and all his friends wanted the attractive Natalie and envied Frank his youth and "piece of ass." The air cleared, Ruth tells Matt what has been tormenting her; Matt wants to help."In the Bedroom" is primarily a character-driven story, something in these days of special effects that's not often seen today. One couldn't ask for better actors than Wilkinson, Spacek, Tomei and Mapother, as well as a strong supporting cast. Wilkinson is magnificent as a doctor whose calmness and acceptance of his usual daily and weekly activities, such as his poker game and visiting friends in their cabin hides a terrible anger and sorrow. There is no artifice to Wilkinson, no obvious acting "choices," just simple acting of the truth of a character so that it seems organic to him. If Wilkinson is calm, Spacek's Ruth is downright catatonic as she stares straight ahead at the television puffing her cigarettes, stiffly goes about her business in town and gives a friend a fake, bright smile when a woman talks about her grandchildren. Finally back to work, she puts on her earphones and listens to the music she is teaching her chorus, making notes, taking a second out to slap Natalie in the face when she comes to give her condolences. Then she quickly and deliberately goes back to her music, her expression never changing. It is one of the most powerful scenes in the film. The film takes on different personas, which is perhaps a criticism - it's a light summer film about parents dealing with a young son's love affair, it's a tragic story of grief, and then it becomes black with horror. However, you'll never be bored, and the characters will keep you constantly fascinated."The bedroom" is part of a lobster trap - the explanation of this starts the film, which is filled with images - a bridgekeeper changing traffic direction, manipulating the bridge by running in circles - an idyllic cabin setting that takes on two meanings. It has been some weeks since I've seen it, but I can't shake the final scenes, particularly the last moments of the film. So very ordinary. It's haunted me ever since.