8 items from 2013
The Impossible is a tricky film to write about because there’s just something inherently tricky about the film itself. Maybe that’s because it’s based on a true story that often feels a little too impossible to believe. Or maybe it’s because that story has been so blatantly Hollywood-ized – with Spanish 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami survivors María Belón Alvárez and Tomás Belón recast as the impossibly blonde-haired and blue-eyed Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Or maybe it’s because the finished film falls into a Hollywood genre that typically encourages us to revel in the onscreen wreckage, only here it’s impossible to do so without feeling weird - I mean, over 200,000 people died as a result of that really cool-looking wave! Anyway, these were the issues I had when I first saw The Impossible and which resurfaced while watching it on Blu-ray. Hit the jump for my review. »
- Harrison Pierce
This week: Director J.A. Bayona's gut-wrenching "The Impossible" starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in her Oscar-nominated role tells the true story of one family's struggle for survival after the 2004 tsunami that devastated Thailand and much of the surrounding region.
Also new this week is the troubled "Gangster Squad" with Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling; Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land" with Matt Damon and John Krasinski; and the Blu-ray 3D debut of the original "Jurassic Park."
Box Office: $19 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 81% Fresh
Storyline: Based on the true story of what befell one family during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, "The Impossible" follows a married couple, Henry and Maria (Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts), and their three young sons who are staying at a Thai resort over the Christmas holidays. When the deadly wave abruptly hits their hotel complex, Maria and son Lucas (Tom Holland »
- Robert DeSalvo
The 2004 Thailand tsunami is without a doubt of the biggest disasters in recent history. One that shocked the entire world. The Impossible is director Juan Antonio Bayona’s way of showing the very human side of such a natural disaster. He brilliantly captures both the terror and scale of something as big as a tsunami, while stripping the film down to its barest moments, exposing just how important family is in times like these.
I rarely get emotional while watching films, because I’ve seen ‘em all before, but The Impossible had me damn close to the edge of breaking down. J.A. Bayona gets such strong performances out of Ewan McGregor and more important Naomi Watts. The two completely steal the show and »
- Jeremy Lebens
The Spanish Film Academy’s Goya Awards are announced, and Pablo Berger’s "Blancanieves" (a twist on the Snow White fairytale) took Best Picture and nine other awards. Juan Antonio Bayona won Best Director for "The Impossible," but handed the award over to María Belón at the awards ceremony; the film is based on her family's survival story during the 2004 Tsunami. "The Impossible"'s Naomi Watts (who plays Maria) is competing for the Best Actress Oscar. Our interview with her is here. "Blancanieves" was Spain's Oscar submission, but it did not make the shortlist. The full list of Goya winners is below. Film Blancanieves Director Juan Antonio Bayona for The Impossible Actor Jose Sacristan for The Dead Man and Being Happy Actress Maribel Verdu for Blancanieves Original Screenplay Pablo Berger for Blancanieves Adapted Screenplay Javier Barreira, Gorka Magallon, Ignacio »
- Sophia Savage
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.99
The film offers an account of a family caught with tens of thousands of strangers in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of the modern era: the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
In the film, Marie Bennett (Watts), her husband Henry (Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and their three sons Lucas (Tom Holland), Tomas and Simon are on Christmas holiday at a tropical resort Khao Lak, Thailand. A devastating tsunami hits on December 26, destroying the coastal zone and sweeping up everyone in the flood. Maria and Lucas are separated from the others and, with Maria’s leg badly injured, the two set out for help, »
Ja Bayona's disaster movie is accomplished, but overlooks the overwhelming majority of the 2004 disaster's victims
Director: Ja Bayona
Entertainment grade: B–
History grade: B+
On 26 December 2004, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra. The resulting series of tsunamis killed an estimated 230,000 people, mostly in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, and displaced almost 1.7 million.
The Bennett family – Henry (Ewan McGregor), Maria (Naomi Watts), and their three sons – travel to Thailand for a Christmas holiday. The real family on whose experiences the film is based is Spanish. Maria Bennett's real-life counterpart, María Belón, has a story credit on this production. Her husband Enrique Alvárez and their children have appeared at the film's premieres. Director J A Bayona has said that he changed their nationality because it was easier to secure a substantial budget with international stars McGregor and Watts on board. "International" means English-speaking. Historians do like primary sources, »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
New Delhi, Jan 3: She fought hydrophobia to make "The Impossible" possible. Hollywood actress Naomi Watts, who plays the role of a real-life tsunami victim in her upcoming film, says it is one of her toughest roles in terms of its emotional and physical demands.
In the film based on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Watts will be seen as a mother who is separated from her family during the tsunami. Her role is inspired by real life tsunami survivor Maria Belon from Spain.
"It (the film) was both physically and emotionally demanding. Maria has been in touch with me throughout the film. Originally when I met Maria I was incredibly nervous. »
- Amith Ostwal
Naomi Watts shimmered in Jennifer Fisher jewelry yesterday as she celebrated the start of the new year with her family on the beach in St. Barts. The Golden Globe-nominated actress for Best Actress-Motion Picture Drama, for her portrayal of Maria Belon in ‘The Impossible,’ wore a custom Jennifer Fisher charm necklace. The 14k gold personalized necklace captured the sunlight on the beach, adding a sparkle to her boho beach look. Fisher started her line, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, after the birth of her first child, Shane, as she created a personalized dog tag charm for him with his name. She then wanted to create jewelry that signifies her own personal style, [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
8 items from 2013
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