The Impossible

December 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Posted in 2012 | 2 Comments
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As a lesson in the film making truism that less is more, I would suggest comparing the use of blood and gore in this film vs “Django Unchained.”  The graphic explosions of blood in that film were too comical to take too seriously (as was the intention).  This film was so much more harrowing because it seemed so much more real.  From about 15 minutes into the movie until about that far from the end, “The Impossible” is an emotionally exhausting ride of constant fear, sadness and horror.  It is loosely based on the story of a Spanish family who survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, where they were vacationing.  In the film, the family is British and, beyond having two parents and three boys, I wonder how much else in the movie is factual.  Apparently, the family did get separated, the mother was badly injured and they were reunited.  Was the reunion as dramatic as in the film?  How could it possibly be?  That scene was Hollywood at it’s finest.  But, for all that, I was still in tears, as I was for most of the film.  Whether the details are true or not, the film has an emotional truth that resonates deeply.  This is in no small part to the virtually unknown British actor, Tom Holland, who played the 12 year old son.  Most of the film was focused on his face and he had to carry off a complex range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, grief, hope.  These are not easy to generate on demand (even for an adult professional) and yet he really shined.  He was the audience’s window into that world and the film had the weight it had in large part because of his performance.  It was the best child performance I have seen this year.  This is in no way a light movie and you should not see it if you go to the movies to relax or escape.  I was exhausted when it was over but I also felt a catharsis that comes from that sort of emotional release.  This is a beautifully made and deeply touching film.  If you want to be moved by a film, you won’t see anything better this year.



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  1. Sorry. Julie and I saw this last night and agreed that had the score been less “heart stringy” this could have been a very good movie indeed. The drama was enough. Cloying music was not only not needed it severely detracted for us.-ciao, bob –

  2. I cannot disagree with you.

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