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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 21.43%
Just Average: 14.29%
Pretty Crappy: 13.1%
Sucks: 15.48%

5 reviews, 54 user ratings

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In the Bedroom
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by EricDSnider

"A solid script made altogether wonderful, thanks to superb acting."
4 stars

Sensitive, penetrating performances elevate "In the Bedroom" from melodrama to high art. Todd Field's script is good, if over-long; his directing style is intuitive, if unspectacular; his actors, though, are masters of their craft.

This is a story of seething anger and long-standing bitterness. The only character to act out rashly is the stupid villain. Everyone else takes his time, simmers, stews and finally acts. It's a movie that refuses to give cheap, fast thrills, but instead provides satisfaction only after taking us on a long, arduous journey.

Dr. Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife Ruth (Sissy Spacek) live a well-to-do life in a quiet Maine town with their son Frank (Nick Stahl), who is home from college for the summer. Frank has taken up with Natalie Strout (Marisa Tomei), a working mother who is separated but not yet divorced from the bullyish Richard (William Mapother).

Natalie has two young children and is apparently a few years older than Frank. Still, their unlikely romance blossoms, and they make plans for the future. What began as a summer-only thing starts to look more long-terms.

Matt has a laissez-faire attitude toward his son, whom he loves and trusts, while Ruth worries and pries. Her maternal concern takes form subtly, but she is a controller, no doubt about it.

Forty-five minutes into the film, something terrible happens, and Matt and Ruth are angry. Quietly, calmly angry, but angry nonetheless. What happens from there unfolds slowly and elegiacally. Field seems to mourn along with his characters, and while I can't say all the lengthy shots of quietude pay off, most of them do. A few deft touches here and there separate this from more pedestrian films.

Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson each deserve Oscar nominations for their work, which is nothing short of brilliant. Ruth's controlling nature and Matt's relaxed attitude both are heightened in times of crisis. Their anger doesn't cause them to lash out and become new people, but rather to magnify the people they already were. And in that regard, Spacek and Wilkinson are dazzling, utterly convincing. You might as well be watching a documentary, for as real as the Fowlers seem.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4844&reviewer=247
originally posted: 01/10/02 15:03:05
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User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell in the bedroom the boredom begins crap imho 1 stars
6/03/15 Jamie smoldering, brillant acting, incredibly superb. 5 stars
2/26/06 Steven Lewis Just wasn't that interesting... 2 stars
1/31/06 jcjss wow 5 stars
1/16/06 cody a movie with good story and good perfomances, shocking ending 3 stars
11/11/05 Stewart I hate this film with a burning passion! It is extraordinarily depressing and boring. 1 stars
8/26/05 ES too slow, movie shifts gears too much, characters are quiet like puppets with no puppeteers 1 stars
11/14/04 DM What the fuck is wrong with Jack Sommersby? 5 stars
2/23/04 Joe it was nice until the silly ending 2 stars
1/18/04 LIAM JACKSON i'm sorry but stahl deserved to get shot. you don't mow another guy's lawn! 5 stars
8/30/03 I Would Ponderious, soap opera style script and pretentiously directed, leave this one alone. 2 stars
6/23/03 the Grinch Not the best theatre film, but it's nasty and involving this one... 4 stars
6/08/03 Jon Lyrik Great acting, dire TV movie-esque writing, story and directing. 2 stars
1/05/03 y2mckay basic revenge drama greatly elevated by Tom Wilkinson 4 stars
12/28/02 Jack Sommersby Shameless, underwritten, and repugnant. 1 stars
12/22/02 Iris Dementia Praecox Victims blame victims until vigilanteism is carried out. Gruckin' foovy! 2 stars
11/15/02 Big Ted Where is Tom Wilkinson's Oscar!!! 5 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Good stuff! 4 stars
9/26/02 Ken I reject the belief that all movies must have total resolution. 5 stars
9/23/02 Susan Merritt was an extremely moving film that stays with you. Tom Wilkinson was perfection ! 5 stars
9/01/02 Doc Shock **yawn** zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 2 stars
8/24/02 spyguy2 Powerful stuff. This one gets inside you and sits for awhile. 5 stars
8/18/02 The Bomb 69 good acting but the story just didn't play out to be real, emotions were funny, slow 3 stars
3/25/02 Tracy Frummond Wilkinson should've been 4th in best actor race, still better than chosen winner. 3 stars
3/24/02 Iris Dementia Praecox Victims blame victims until vigilanteism is carried out. Gruckin' foovy! 2 stars
3/23/02 Gina Westbrook Makes CDER HSE RULES, where Maine is at least an EQ. OPPRTUNTY redneck state, look better! 2 stars
3/16/02 Teresa Great movie. I would never tell anyone, "Go see it." It is very heavy. 4 stars
3/15/02 Ziggy Stardust if you're relaxed and at peace, you'll enjoy this movie. 5 stars
3/14/02 the movie moose In The Bedroom is the best, most influential film of 2001 period 5 stars
3/12/02 Jimbo Very good film. Contemporary storyline. Slow but slow is good sometimes. 4 stars
3/11/02 spaceworm Tom Wilkenson is [pick your superlative]. 5 stars
3/05/02 amir bama 5 stars
3/05/02 luka1717 i expected alot more from this, it was very slow and very boring for the most part 2 stars
2/22/02 hamad sex photos 1 stars
2/20/02 vanilla quiche suh-looooooow film, amazing acting 4 stars
2/17/02 Bueller Bring your heart and brain with you for this one. Want brain candy? See an Ahh-nold flick. 4 stars
2/17/02 AgentDS Pretty good, but overhyped. 4 stars
2/02/02 elizaveta Son getting shot was very predictable; I didn't buy the ending. 3 stars
1/30/02 Jon Jackson What's all the fuss? Where's the story? BORING! 2 stars
1/29/02 Carly Tense, but also overrated and anticlimactic. 3 stars
1/24/02 Albie Wilkinson deserves an Oscar..moving and well acted flick 5 stars
1/23/02 Paco A very adult movie...quiet and heartbreaking 5 stars
1/20/02 HATTAN1978 sex 5 stars
1/19/02 Bonne Great movie 4 stars
1/19/02 Belinda Its about time! Something worth the money. 5 stars
1/19/02 Sarah Stratton A great thinking movie--don't see it if you aren't going to think about it after it's over. 5 stars
1/18/02 Ken Pretentious and overwrought--avoid at all costs 1 stars
1/18/02 Suzz good but overrated; The Deep End was better 4 stars
1/17/02 Jason Moana Really well told story -- a movie you will think about, and enjoy, for a long time. 4 stars
1/13/02 Robert Brilliantly acted and thoughtfully done. 4 stars
1/12/02 daniboy pretty overrated. still a good movie though 3 stars
1/07/02 puckfreak ??? If you enjoyed "You can count on me" then you'll like this. 2 stars
12/12/01 Heather Haunting, moving movie about parents who have lost their son, great acting from Sissy & Tom 5 stars
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  25-Dec-2001 (R)



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