Saturday, January 12, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: THE IMPOSSIBLE
Director Juan Antonio Bayona follows up his critically acclaimed feature debut The Orphanage with this drama set during the 2004 Thailand tsunami, detailing one family's incredible fight for survival. Inspired by actual events. Tom Hollander and Geraldine Chaplin co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Cast: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hollander, Marta Etura, Sönke Möhring, Geraldine Chaplin
Release Date: Dec 21, 2012
Rated R for intense realistic disaster sequence, disturbing injury images and brief
Runtime: 1 hr. 43 min.
The Impossible is the type of harrowing experience that has you watching the film through clenched teeth while grasping the arm rest during some of the more intense sequences. It’s a dramatization of a true story but it does an impressive job of giving you an approximation of the destruction that occurred during this tragic event. Bayona masterfully re-creates the tsunami’s impact with the visceral punch of a horrific amusement park ride. Naomi Watts and Tom Hollander do the majority of the heavy lifting on the emotional side. Watts and Hollander share a strong believable chemistry as mother and son. Personally, I can’t think of anybody better at playing emotionally beaten and frayed than Naomi Watts while keeping a quite strength behind her eyes. Watts delivers an unglamorous raw turn; it leaves a lasting impression even though she disappears for the better part of the last act. Hollander matches her every step of the way with one of the best performances I’ve seen by a child actor in years. Ewan McGregor and the 2 younger actors get some small moments to shine and each does impressive work with limited screen time. They get relegated to the background for the most part and the script seems content to use them for some of the more manufactured moments of heart string pulling such as a trifold set of near misses before the final reunion. It’s an issue that becomes more apparent as the film nears its finale. These moments feel out of place and forced even though the story didn’t need to beat you over the head with agony and could have relied on the organic moments of uplifting human drama.