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In the Bedroom More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: stace2195 from California
14 January 2002

I do not understand why this show was nominated for a Golden Globe!! True, Sissy Spacek does a wonderful performance, and that is worthy of recognition, but for the most part, the show was boring & pointless. I mean, there were scenes showing the characters smoking & mowing the lawn. Whatever. At least I didn't pay to see it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Only film I've seen with flawless performances, but predictable story ruins total enjoyment

Author: smakawhat from Washington, DC
13 January 2002

In The Bedroom, a story of a small town Maine's residents has everything to be the perfect picture. It is brilliantly acted, shot, and scored. However for a picture that contains a simple story and acting par excellence, the viewer is also stranded in a story that is all to familiar.

The most unfortunate problem with the film, is that the story is just to predictable. I'll put it to you this way. The story starts off with a family couple played by Nick Stahl and Sissy Spacek, whose young soon to become adult son is in love with an older woman of 2 kids, and is divorcing an abusive husband. Then suddenly, the community is rocked cause of tragedy that occours involving the couple.

Now that I have said that you can get an idea of what has already happened, and since this film is a 'tragedy' you can get an idea of what is to follow after the tragic events. That being said though, if it wasn't for the casting and characters in this film I would have walked out. Every single person in this film, whether it's the distraught Mother and Father (Spacek / Stahl), the older woman (Tomei), or even just the minor characters who pop up (poker card player) all give MEMORABLE amazing performances. All these characters in this film are so true to life and are like the people you know, it's as if they are not acting, the scenes of tension when they happen are intense.

But the story comes out being just too predictable for my tastes and you sit back waiting for the ingenious performances which come in droves. Also one part of the film which I can't give away without giving away too much of the plot I found a bit unrealistic.

It is these faults which make this film far from perfect but easily worth seeing for the performances alone. Certainly not a waste of film, but certainly a film that could have been SOOOOOO much better.

Rating 7 out of 10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Whodunnit potboiler

Author: brimon28 from Canberra, Australia
13 January 2002

This overlong whodunnit is slow to get moving, but becomes mildly entertaining, with the end neatly telegraphed. The cinematography slips badly, particularly in the kitchen 'row' scene, with a serious continuity problem. There remains scope for a sequel, a la "The fugitive".

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very realistic, extremely powerful, but one of the best?

Author: newonpluto from los angeles
12 January 2002

I just watched "In the Bedroom" last night. There were moments in this film that had my heart beat faster than it would after a one-mile sprint. Seriously dramatic, and intense scenes. But in the end, something didn't click for me.

I find I like the film more after I think about it. Here's something the film has that others do not: realism. This film is so realistic, it's amazing. When you watch this film, don't watch it expecting something to happen. Watch it like you want to feel what the characters are feeling.

During the time in the film that Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek spend alone together, there are short vignettes of silence and short, coldly distant dialogue. Many people did not like this. I thought it was extremely close to reality. And if you hear any hype about this film, it's mostly deserved for Spacek and Tomei.

The confrontation scene at Tomei's house (CURSE ALL REVIEWERS THAT TELL TOO MUCH. GO TO HELL AND DIE FOR RUINING IT FOR ME, I DON'T CARE HOW EARLY IN THE FILM IT HAPPENED) is so well-handled, I lost my breath. Her acting, her begging her children to stay upstairs, and especially her stumble down the staircase... How brilliant that we hear the yelling downstairs while she tells her boys not to move. What a scene.

Still, after all this excellent material, the film left me hanging. It just didn't go where deep inside I wanted it to, I suppose. I think most of that may have to do with my one MAJOR problem with this movie: TOM WILKINSON. I'm not going to only say he does not deserve the attention he's getting, I'll go as far as to say there were some scenes that he was EXCRUCIATINGLY BAD in.

Now don't get me wrong, I think he is a good actor. There were a couple scenes ("Somebody say something, don't sissyfoot around me!") that he was great in. But the scenes he had with Spacek? I thought the poor woman had nothing, NOTHING to play off of!

Here is what I thought of Wilkinson in those scenes: he was like a pestering noise in a movie theatre (like someone chewing with their mouth open) during a quiet scene that I can't get passed or ignore in order to enjoy the film. I think the way he made himself sensitive with her was just done wrong.

Otherwise, the film was good. Tomei and Spacek are the two best reasons to see it, and they both should get nominations. I would even see Tomei should win, but Halle Berry is a better choice in "Monster's Ball" for the best actress choice. Alas, I would not call this one of the best films of the year.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nice start, very slow middle, good ending

Author: mhamiltonw from Los Angeles
10 January 2002

If you can suffer through the middle act, this movie isn't that bad. But everybody's raving about the acting. I don't get it. Most of the time the actors stare at the ceiling, the floor, each other. Not much happens in the movie.I almost fell asleep from the lack of conflict in the story. People in pain is not conflict. This was painful to watch. Rent it on DVD if you're having trouble sleeping at night.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

She came in through the bathroom window

Author: matthew wilder ( from los angeles
10 January 2002

The director, Todd Field, was the piano player in Kubrick's EYES

WIDE SHUT, and he seemed to learn a lot from the master--about

what NOT to do. Field's breakthrough feature, an embellishment of

a very short Andre Dubus story, never exaggerates, never fakes,

never reaches for effect. (Well, in the brief moments it does, the

contrast is so glaring as to make you grateful for the other 98%.)

Field gets it all. He gets the shapeless, reaching desire of a young

man (Nick Stahl) who falls in love with a local single mom (Marisa

Tomei) right after college and is willing to "throw his life away" out

of sheer gratitude and relief. He gets the desire for escape in a

country doctor (Tom Wilkinson) who runs out of his office at

eleven-thirty for a lunchtime ride on a fishing boat with his kid. And

he gets the mixture of kindness and strict rectitude in a

Slavic-music major from Brown (Sissy Spacek) who relocated to

small-town Maine with her husband and didn't look back, but

seethed incessantly. Without forcing it, Field gets what the music

playing under a dreadful showdown in a podunk 7-11 would be

(Peter Frampton's "Baby I Love Your Way") and how a grieving

parent might look at a sympathetic D.A. jiggling change in his

pocket. When the action takes a ghastly turn after forty minutes, the

movie becomes a crisp portrait of what people do when mourning

the loss of a loved one: the same dumb stuff they did before, only

now they don't enjoy any of it.

Though Marisa Tomei and Nick Stahl don't bring much to their

characters (except for a brief moment when Stahl has to butter up

a grad-school admissions official), all the bit parts are

miraculously filled, as if Field found the perfect small-town-Maine

faces and instantly taught them to act. And as the parents, Sissy

Spacek and Tom Wilkinson couldn't be better. Field cast brilliantly

against type: Spacek plays a cool, controlling, superior-feeling,

iron-hard mother, and Wilkinson a soft, obliging, gently henpecked

dad. You realize how little opportunity Spacek has had to play

strength in her thirty years on the screen. (Flash through her best


a lot of colors, but not much steel.) Spacek is wise enough, and

old enough now, to know to fill in certain things that aren't in the

script: like her non-softening at the end of a bad-cop moment,

where other actresses would relent and ask for the audience's

approval; or the little chuck-under-the-chin of sweetness she offers

a dimwitted acquaintance who makes a horrific faux pas--a note

that comes after she has fully, and blazingly, registered the horror.

This is the kind of role where actors are frequently praised for the

role itself, rather than their performance; Spacek's acting more

than equals it. And Wilkinson--the very picture of small-town

smartness and guff, cozy comfort and resolve, slowly blushing with

deep humiliation and then boiling in rage--nearly equals Spacek's

achievement. As Tomei's violent ex, William Mapother, a

gentleman known to me only as a relative of Tom Cruise's who is

cast in many of the star's movies, gives a perfectly authentic,

terrifying electric charge to all his scenes.

Miramax really screwed the pooch when they sunk all their

resources into THE SHIPPING NEWS and left their truly worthwhile

movie, an acquisition, to flounder. The sheer quality of the movie

seems to have miraculously overwhelmed its poor handling, and

the picture seems to be connecting with a (small) audience. One

doesn't want to overstate matters (particularly in the context of such

lovely understatement), but Field, studying literature rather than the

example of even current indie movies, in one swoop brings

American movies to a level we routinely expect from the best

European filmmakers, but never from our own: that is, the astute,

unsentimental, finely wrought rendering of life as we live it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not emotionally involving enough

Author: dorotheabrook from Seattle, Washington
8 January 2002

I was very excited to see this movie when I saw that it was the directorial debut of Todd Field, whom I would guess had learned a lot about directing from being in Victor Nunez's fabulous Ruby in Paradise. Although he is clearly a skilled director, In the Bedroom does not live up to the promising reviews I've read recently. The film has interesting cinematography, a beautiful look, a wonderful cast (the two women, Sissy Spacek and Marisa Tomei, are particularly talented), and yet, the meat of the story never lives up to all of these good qualities. The metaphors are ridiculously heavy-handed, most notably a cut that keeps bleeding through a band-aid on a grieving father. I found it hard to sympathize with the husband and wife played by Tom Wilkinson and Spacek because their actions always seemed so deliberate and self-involved (this may be a matter of taste because I noticed several others in the theater crying throughout the movie). However, since the bulk of the movie focuses on their perspective, it's difficult to feel connected with the overall story. Because the film focuses on Wilkinson and Spacek's characters, who are both upper middle class and educated, and places Tomei's working class character as an obstacle to their happiness and comfort in the plot, the story seemed to marginalize the working class point of view.

I would say In the Bedroom is a lesser version of two terrific movies about family and loss: You Can Count On Me and Ordinary People. Watch the latter instead of Bedroom if you want to feel a real connection with a movie's characters.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good but not great - spoilers!

Author: Rip-4 from Florida, USA
8 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought this was a good, but not a great film - the best things about it are the performances of Spacek, Wilkinson and Tomei, which are enough to see it for. But the plot takes too many implausible turns, which diminish its emotional force.

SPOILER***** Warning!

I thought the actor playing the son was too callow to be attractive to Marisa Tomei's character, and I was totally unconvinced that the father's friend would be drawn into a murder plot - that needed to be much more the center of the story to make it believable (see A Simple Plan, for example). I thought the focus got pretty muddled before the end, and simply leaving it the way they did was very unsatisfying - unclear to me what the father's real consequences of becoming a murderer were going to be - I suppose not any, perhaps, but in that case the ending was too ambiguous to even make that a point. Nonetheless, Tom Wilkinson was particularly wonderful, and it will be criminal if he doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Predictable and unsatisfying

Author: wkatten
7 January 2002

While the acting was good in this movie, the story was weak and the ending, unearned. What was this movie trying to be? For the first and last five minutes of the movie, it felt like a thriller, and the rest, a drama in which little fresh insight was given to us about themes of loss and grief. I think the movie took itself so seriously, it tried to trick us into doing the same, yet it really didn't have anything interesting to say. Parents turn to revenge in response to devastating loss and an unjust system? There's a rift in the marriage because of this loss? Is this new or compelling? These subjects may be true to life, but they don't make for interesting storytelling.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tedious Beyond Belief

Author: cappy-11 from new orleans
6 January 2002

After reading so many positive reviews I looked forward to seeing this movie. Unfortunately, my reaction was not positive.

The movie never "got going" for me or my 18-year old daughter (and incidently a few others in the theater that through in the towel well before it's promised "surprise" ending.)

Yes, the performances are fine but certainly not Oscar worthy. The editing is excruciating at best and the story line predictably recycled.

If you want a glimpse into the lives of your neighbors and their heartaches go to Blockbuster and rent "Ordinary People."

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