A regular family - Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them? Written by
Quique Alvarez, his wife Maria Belon and their three young children were swept away by a massive wall of water as they lounged around the pool at the Orchid Resort Hotel in Thailand in 2004. See more »
After the wave subsides, and Maria and Lucas come to rest on a floating log where they catch their breath, a leaf on Maria's left shoulder disappears and reappears a couple of times. See more »
On December 26th, 2004,the deadliest tsunami on record hit the South East Coast of Asia. The lives of countless families all over the world changed forever. This is the true story of one of those families.
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The title and the rest of the credits do not appear until the end of the film. The only credits that appear at the beginning are the production companies' logos and an explanation of how the Tsunami came about. See more »
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is brought to shockingly realistic life in J. A. Bayona's ten minute sequence near the beginning of the harrowing true-life survival tale, "The Impossible." With little to no CGI and using mostly scale models and a giant water tank, Bayona throws the viewers into the wave along with stars Naomi Watts (astonishing) and young Tom Holland (revelatory as Watts' son). Told from the point of view of a family on holiday in Thailand, the story makes for a riveting family-centered emotional drama. The rest of the cast is outstanding as well, and there's a strong humanist approach applied to depicting this wide-spread multi-national disaster.
It might pull on the heartstrings a bit "too much" in some sequences, but the manipulation is apt in telling this real-life drama.
Overall - an unforgettable, draining but uplifting film experience.
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