*** Official "IN THE BEDROOM" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tino, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I will probably be in the minority with the following review, but I must admit that I found Todd Field's In The Bedroom disappointing.
    After hearing and reading about the many awards, accolades, Oscar talk, and Top 10 lists this film has garnered, I went in expecting one of the best films of the year.
    Sadly, I must report, that although it contains great acting from Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei, I found the film to be incredibly dull and uninteresting. To me, it was an average story, a domestic drama about two parents that are forced to deal with tragedy in their own ways.
    The film move at such a slow pace, that I was strugglng to stay interested. I guess that for me, I just did not connect with the story enough for me to care about what happens to any of the characters. It was even predictable.
    In The Bedroom is not a bad fim by any means, and there were parts of it that I really liked, but as I said, on the whole, it was a disappointing experience. Every once in a while, I see a film that is being universally praised by almost everyone who has seen it, only to be ultimately, and sadly, let down. This is one of those films.
    I really wanted to love this film.[​IMG]
     
  2. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    Good timing Tino. I was just going to check and see what people here thought of this movie because it is playing at one of the art-house theaters in Pittsburgh.

    If I don't find some good things said about this film, I'm going to wait for the DVD.
     
  3. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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    Haven't seen it myself, though it seems most critics absolutely adore it. I have, however, heard some brave voices speak out against the film.

    Here's a quote from critic Armond White who passionately disliked it:

    "The end-of-the-year mass hysteria for In the Bedroom ought to scare folks. Maybe it's the post-9-11 vigilante urge that explains why middle-class and middlebrow reviewers felt the need to endorse that Sundance paean to white suburban vengeance. But even before 9-11 there was a subliminal, privileged anger in American film culture..."
     
  4. Johnny V

    Johnny V Agent

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    Because of all the hype, I just saw this as well, this weekend. I too was very disappointed. I pretty much agree with everything Tino said: slow, average story, with some good performances. However, I think the most over-hyped aspect of the movie is Sissy Spacek. Marisa Tomei was much better IMO, but I go to movies for a good story, not great performances. If the story sucks, but one of the actors gives a GREAT performance, does that make it a good movie? Not in my book. The whole time I was watching this I kept thinking of "You can count on me", and I didn't care for that film either.
    Side note: I went to the 1:20PM showing on Sunday at my local 30 screen mutiplex. They were showing this movie in probably one of the smallest screens in the place and it was 90% full!!! I thought that it might even sell out--on a Sunday morning...while the Bears game was on[​IMG] . Well, it was probably 70/30 woman to man ratio so I guess it makes sense[​IMG] .
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    For a more positive reaction (though not without reservations), see Edwin's alternative movie thread, posts no. 222 and 225.
    I don't think you'll be in a minority, Tino. IMO, expectations for this film have been so artificially inflated that no film could possibly live up to them, especially an intimate family story that relies largely on silence and small gestures.
    M.
     
  6. StephenT

    StephenT Stunt Coordinator

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    I really enjoyed this one. It may have been slow in a few spots, but it never got to the point where I looked at my watch. I had no idea what the plot twist was going in, so that was a surprise. I think that helps any film the first time you see it. I've found I enjoy films a lot more the less I know about them. I like to be surprised.
    There were predictable plot points later in the movie, but they were played out so well that I wasn't bothered by the predictability. Great acting alone cannot save a bad screenplay, but great acting with a decent screenplay makes a good movie. That's what we had here, and it was good. As others have already said it's not as great as the critical hype. It was enjoyable, and that's more than I can say for many a film.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] (out of four)
     
  7. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    In The Bedroom joins the ranks of Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter and Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm as an examination of human emotions and conditions surrounding a tragic situation. It is about love, secret resentments and painful choices told with the very least sentimentality and manipulation.
    Actor turned director Todd Field has made a very good debut film with shots delivering some quiet intensity, which are all the more important especially in character driven narratives. Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei, Nick Stahl and William Mapother all deliver powerhouse performances. Tomei is especially good in a supporting role. She portrayed her character rather strong instead of being pathetic.
    Each person’s actions are explained with an outcome left to the audience to dwell upon. This is one of the film’s strengths. It never gets preachy about the choices it takes.
    In The Bedroom is one of this year’s best films.
    ~Edwin
     
  8. David Ren

    David Ren Stunt Coordinator

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    I liked the movie and enjoyed it but found it incredibly predictable!

    Ever since Marisa Tomei's husband showed up at her house sitting at the table, I knew exactly what would happen for the rest of the movie. The kid'll somehow get hurt, the parents'll take revenge, etc. As I watching the movie, I hoped they didn't go the incredibly obvious route of having the parent kill the guy, but they did. I was reminded of that Sally Field movie with Keifer Sutherland.

    A better ending: The father attempts to kill Richard, realizes that by doing that, he'll just be sinking to his level and turn himself into a murderer, and he walks away. I thought the father would be smart enough to realize this.


    Oh well, marginal thumbs up for me. 3 stars, maybe 2 1/2.

    David
     
  9. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I think the biggest problem that this film is facing is it's trailer. Watching it, I'd go into the movie thinking I was about to see the latest Harrison Ford & Extrenaeous Blonde psychological romantic thriller. Its not. As Edwin said, it's more of an examination about human emotions. Although the story was predictable, I found it very believable. The acting, directing, music and cinemtaography were all top notch.
     
  10. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    I'm with Edwin here, and I would add Redford's Ordinary People onto the list of films that In The Bedroom have in common (the confrontation between husband and wife in both films particularly resonated with me). If anything, I didn't quite want the movie to go where it went in the third act, but it is also done with great skill and heart. It's less optimistic than Ordinary People or The Ice Storm--as if those movies are filled with pain--but it is not less true.

    The acting is superb, so is the directing and editing. After the "incident," we are given views on the character's lives with such perfect observation that every scene in itself in gut wrenching. Unlike others in this thread, I did not find this process to be slow or boring at all; I was hooked. Sometimes people forget all movies benifit from the big screen instead of just films with epic settings such as Lord of the Rings or Black Hawk Down--this movie is a reminder. Every little detail projected onto the screen brings heartfelt pain.
     
  11. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    It's not very often you can exactly quantify a film's flaws, but Todd Field's In The Bedroom has exactly one.
    The first hour or so is superb leading up to a violent climax. There were audible gasps from the audience I saw the film with as people recoiled from the scenes of violence, but the violence isn't actually depicted. Field made the interesting choice to have all the violence occur just off screen and then bring the audience in to deal with the immediate aftermath. Great stuff.
    After this first section, there is a really ham-handed five-minute courtroom scene of a bail hearing. Now, it's in the interest of the story that the character involved gets bail even though it seems unlikely that it would actually happen. The really unfortunate part is that it ruins the cameo appearance of Karen Allen. She plays the familiar character of the sarcastic, cross-examining attorney. I cringed for her as she was forced to assert that someone who hears a crime can't be a "witness" to the crime (gee, won't the blind community be surprised to find out they can't be competent witnesses at trail because they can't see [​IMG] ).
    While this story flaw is glaring, it's not fatal. Once I had suspended that particular piece of disbelief, I settled in for the final hour or so which is again superb as we explore the emotional aftermath of the film's midpoint climax.
    Sissy Spacek is garnering a lot of recognition for her performance, but I've always found her acting style a little too remote for my taste. With the exception of Affliction, she hasn't really knocked my socks off since Carrie. I thought the real standout performances in In The Bedroom belong to Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei. Both provide knockout, multi-layered, raw performances.
    The cinematography is a beautiful thing to watch and Field provides a most promising debut, justifying his decision to concentrate behind the camera. Now if he could have just written a better bridge scene in the middle....
    Highly recommended.
    Rob
     
  12. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    I finally got to see this film last night after much anticipation. I had to travel nearly 40 minutes to get to the arts theater where it was playing.

    I have to say that I was genuinly dissapointed in this film. I really really wanted to love it. The film does have it's good points but for the most part it was very slow and drawn out. The characters were very believable but on the same token very predictable, that's not to say that the performances were not outstanding, I just really think it could have been so much more with more of a story line. I thought it was pretty good until after the first hour or so, then I found myself squirming in my seat. Maybe if I were to see it again I would respect it more, but to tell you the truth I don't really see what all the hoopla was about.

    Peace

    Eve
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for In the Bedroom. Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of In the Bedroom should be posted to this thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  14. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    SPOILERS BELOW:

    It's true, what Matt did to Strout solved none of his problems because when Frank died, he also died, albeit slowly and turned into something he was not before. But it's actually frightening to think how easily satiated Ruth was, and she was all too happy to get up and make some eggs for Frank. Hmmm....

    I guess I have problems with the cold-bloodedness of Matt's actions to be sympathetic to him in the end. And after you think about it, it sort of pisses you off that you actually gave a crap about this family's trauma when he gave into the vengeance and went down the path of inner self destruction. It has that "Seven" ending vibe, but without any of the historionics.

    Matt should have framed Strout and created a scenario in which the maximum sentence was given to Strout, but these characters were not all too clever in that sense, and we are left with watching situational ethics 101 in action.

    This film will garner no re-watching from me. I got the take on emotional isolation and the eye-for-an-eye justice story just fine and dandy.

    I do think that to compare it to "The Sweet Hereafter" is to do that film an injustice because TSH is a much better film because it truly strips away and gets at the truth without resorting to such a sordid ending.
     
  16. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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  17. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Films should be accepted in the manner they were presented by the filmmakers. To offer a different kind of an ending only suggests a miscomprehension or misinterpretation of what the filmmaker is trying to convey.

    I would have to agree that this film is not so much about vigilantism as it is more about solving conflicts and an examination of human emotions.

    Roger Ebert perfectly summarizes it: **POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

     
  18. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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  19. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  20. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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