In the Bedroom (2001)

Hopefully my parents don’t grow old like this!

Set in a tranquil town on the Maine coast, this character-driven drama tells the story of a couple (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson) whose teenage son (Nick Stahl) is involved in a love affair with a single mother (Marisa Tomei). When the relationship comes to a sudden and tragic end, the boy’s parents must face their worst nightmare and embark on a dark and dangerous psychological journey.

In the Bedroom is a film that challenges viewers to understand these characters. I liked how the film didn’t focus too much on the event, and more on how these characters are effected emotionally and physically. Director Todd Field understands how to make an emotionally and powerful film without just showing the audince what they want to see.

The reason why this film mostly works is because its incredibly written screenplay, that is so tragic and true to the point, that its hard not to be taken away. It shows how grief and denial of one’s life can eventually lead everyone to turn on each other and gain that huge sense of paranoia that happens in such an event like this one.

The problem I had with this film was that I felt like it was way too slow at points, as well as the editing. The film does keep your attention mostly due to the great screenplay but stalls at plenty of times, that don’t seem meaningful at all. There were scenes that should have been cut out, mostly due to the fact that they didn’t really have anything to do with the story and more for the dramatic effect.

Utterly, the best thing about this film is its performances from the cast. Nick Stahl is fascinating, and although I wish she was on more but did fine anyway, Marisa Tomei. But this film is more anchored by the performances from Wilkinson and Spacek. They both show a great and realistic look at two older people who are stuck living with a tragedy and can’t seem to get away from the fact that they may have messed up. The way they use this screenplay is something of a miracle by how real all these scenes are and the way these two just make these scenes is even better.

Lastly, the biggest problem with this film is that I felt like the revenge ending didn’t seem like it was in the right movie. It acted more as a suspense-thriller ending that crawled out of some Perry Mason episode. I mean it wasn’t the worst but the way it ended wasn’t very meaningful and less insightful than I actually thought it was going to be with such a powerful film like this one.

Consensus: Though it needs better editing and a different ending, In the Bedroom features a well-written script, anchored by wonderful performances from its great cast.


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