"In the Bedroom"
Directed by Todd Field.
Written by Todd Field and Robert Festinger.
Starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl and Marisa Tomei.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 12/28/01
Goodness, it is me again!
This afternoon, I took in the
heavily-acclaimed new drama "In the Bedroom." Damn, this movie is
good! Damn, damn, damn! This is some good stuff, friends, good
Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson star as
parents of college student Frank Fowler (Nick Stahl). Frank is
enjoying his summer job in Camden, Maine as a fisherman, and he is
dating a hot, just-separated mother of two named Natalie (Marisa
Tomei). Things seem to be going very well for everyone
involved...until tragedy strikes about a third of the way through
What happens next is...the film just gets
better and better and better and better. Co-writer and director
Todd Field does a beautiful job of laying down a few layers of story
scene by scene, and he does an excellent job of telling us a story
without showing us all that we need to know. This is truly a story
of what is just beneath the surface. It doesn't hurt that the
performances of Tomei, Wilkinson and Spacek are all excellent, and
support by William Mapother ("M:I-2") as Natalie's estranged husband
is fierce as well. And, finally, a drama that actually throws some
humor into the mix at just the right times! Not that this film will
have you rolling in the aisles, but it wisely throws some light,
brief humor into the film at key moments to relieve some tension.
Most intriguing about this film is the use of music through its
course: there simply is none. That's right, save for one or two
moments of transitional music (neither lasts more than about 30
seconds), there is no score to speak of. And, it works very well,
as the quietest of moments make for a moving emotional scene here,
an act of violence there. Brilliant, I say!
This film will get nominated for Best
Picture, and you can bet the farm on it!
Rating: Opening Weekend
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard