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Lady in the Water (2006)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 69,684 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 1,027 user | 280 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.

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Cast

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Goatee Smoker
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Storyline

Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex's pool. He soon learns that she comes from the Blue World, and has a message for mankind. Will he be able to help her complete her mission? Written by JRF

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Classic Bedtime Story For A New Generation See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some frightening sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama en el agua  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$435,539 (Australia) (8 September 2006)

Gross:

$172,454 (Chile) (29 September 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

M. Night Shyamalan, delighted after he discovered unknown Cindy Cheung, was shocked to hear that her agent demanded 1 million dollars for her role in the film. Night was prepared to pay the SAG minimum, $65,000. They settled at $100,000. See more »

Goofs

The black floor lamp in the smokers apartment changes position between shots based on perspective. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cleveland Heep: Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man's need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that lived in the ocean... and the world of men... separated. Through the centuries, their world and all the inhabitants of it... stopped trying. The world of man became more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen to...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Childlike illustrations appear over and under some of the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
Written by George Bassman and Ned Washington
Performed by The Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By Arrangement with SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Splish Splash investors are taking a bath
21 July 2006 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

I wonder if, after taking in M. Night Shyamalan's The Lady in the Water, Haley Joel Osment's character from The Sixth Sense might be inclined to say "I see lousy films, and one of them is in this theatre." Actually, calling The Lady in the Water "lousy" is too simplistic. The movie is more of a train wreck, with partially realized elements, loose ends aplenty, and wildly improbable leaps in its own narrative. And yet, in true Shyamalan fashion, the movie commands viewer respect in spite of its flaws.

Shyamalan credits the movie's plot to a bedtime story he created to entertain his children, but instead of conveying a simple story, the tale unfolds as a muddled new age fable that never really goes anywhere or accomplishes anything.

The movie's greatest strength is the casting of Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heep, the stuttering schlep caretaker of a Philadelphia apartment complex known as The Cove. Giamatti's everyman quality makes it easy for the viewer to quickly get sucked into the story, which involves Heep's discovery of a mysterious woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) one night in the complex's pool. Turns out this "Narf", or water nymph, has been sent from the "blue world" to the world of men to impart some sort of mystical knowledge that the film never makes very clear. Trying their best to kill her before she fulfills her mission are shadowy, supernatural "Scrunts", large hyena-like creatures comprised of grass and earth.

Sounds strange? Watching the film doesn't help as Shyamalan never bothers to explain why the Scrunts are out to kill his heroine, much less the grand importance of her mission.

In the decade that's passed since Shymalan burst onto the scene with his brilliant The Sixth Sense, the director has cultivated an equally proportioned number of fans and detractors. Few movie directors have been able to so totally polarize movie going audiences into love him or hate him camps as Shymalan. A lot of this has to do with his penchant for building his movies around plot twist device that fans either love, or find hackneyed.

As if listening to his critics, Shymalan has eschewed his traditional plot twist this time out in favor of a more conventional narrative, albeit one that more closely resembles a phone conversation with a really bad connection. The whole experience actually left me wishing for a twist that would turn the movie on its head and make me feel like everything I'd spent the last two hours watching was much more than the sum of its ambiguous parts.

Still, for all its numerous flaws, The Lady in the Water is still a compelling film. Shymalan's talent for imagery, characterization and musical scoring all give this movie a watchable dimension. I also have to admire him for his vision, for unlike many of his directorial contemporaries, he hasn't opted to "sell out" and cash in by helming any one of Hollywood's countless superhero action adventure popcorn movies that fill the cinemas each summer. He has a vision and stands by it, even unto failure. There's something to be admired in that.


36 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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