i was in tears for pretty much this entire film. I don’t like to “look into” films before I go watch them because I feel it shades how I will end up feeling about it and I don’t want that. I never read critic reviews or pretty much anything- if I like the trailer I will watch it, plain and simple. My friend came back from the Toronto Film Festival a while back and told me about this really intense movie she saw that left the entire theatre in tears. I was intrigued, watched the trailer and I was in.
the film starts on a plane, we meet our family: Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three children: Lucas (Tom Holland), Thomas (Samuel Joslin) and Simon (Oaklee Pendergast). They are on their way to Thailand to celebrate Christmas. The resort is amazing, the beach is tranquil…it’s perfect.
Director Juan Antonio Bayona did a really great job in setting up the environment, it was slow and thoughtful. The sound design was exquisite, it was vacuous, which could only mean one thing, something bad was about to happen. It’s when there’s a lot of nothing is when I get the most anxious. Oscar Faura’s cinematography was beautiful, sweeping, a palette that also set up the mood and for what was to come.
Then came the tsunami. That was truly terrifying. I’m thankful that I’ve never been in that situation because it is a force that you cannot reckon with. An immeasurable wave that is not creeping but a leviathan that is charging for you and everything in its path. This is where I have to credit Bayona and Faura- GOOD FREAKING JOB, seriously. I was claustrophobic, petrified and panicked all at the same time. It was one of those scenes where you’re wondering, how in the hell did they do that? And to be honest, I don’t even want to know because really why spoil it?
What follows is an inconceivable journey. There’s a part of me that just wants to ruin the whole movie for those of you who haven’t watched it. The acting, directing and cinematography carries you through the… wait for it… the impossible. A perfect title for a story that is unimaginable and very inspiring.
I was never a big Naomi Watts fan but after watching her in this film, I totally get why she was nominated. She really did an excellent job. And the woman who she was portraying, I mean, kill me- the fact that this story is real is what got me. That was really the reason I was in tears from start to finish- I couldn’t believe this happened. Ewan McGregor is usually hit or miss for me but I think he did a superb job in this film. Someone I am more impressed with is Tom Holland who played the eldest son Lucas. Seriously, he was incredible and I’m upset he wasn’t nominated for a Globe or an Oscar. But I am excited to see this young actor’s career take off because it most certainly will. The younger sons were pretty damn good too. Those little British children are always meant to be emotionally charged, sophisticated actors, aren’t they?
I was moved by this story. All there is to say is: go watch it.