Starring: Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa
Tomei and William Mapother
Directed by: Todd Field
Writing credits: Robert Festinger & Todd Field
Okay, first let's get any ideas about this being a soft porn,
or a low-cost Kama Sutra lesson, for you and your mansteak right
outta your head! In fact In The Bedroom is such a heart
hitting drama it should come with a disclaimer: Bring hankies
acting from Marisa Tomei and Sissy Spacek, in particular, is top
notch. But, after about two hours of non-stop drama I was pleading
for a laugh, even a stock joke
Anything to loosen the head
from its tears welled in eyes and the heart from its heart wrentched
in pain grip. The script is a slow and realistic bit of visceral
voyeurisms that are strung together a bit unevenly.
story is simple. In The Bedroom addresses the age-old tale
of the new boyfriend making an ex-husband irate. Love is always
complicated no? Sometimes bad things happen to good people
meet Natalie Strout (Marisa - finally a great role for a great
actress- Tomie) who is a neighborhood gal with two kids and a
new beau. Her new lad and bed partner, Frank Fowler (Nick - looking
swell- Stahl) is many years her junior (bravo) and is thinking
about college and his future along with the rabid Rhesus monkey
He's getting smitten though, and thinks maybe taking a year off
from school, would be the right thing to do.
mom, Ruth (Sissy Spacek), an old-fashioned New England soul with
desires for her son to get out -of-Dodge and make a career away
from the roost is fearful of just such a summer booty- turned-
relationship scenario and starts to blatantly do that mother thing
him, manipulate him, urge him to dump the gal before he throws
his life away. It's her God given job after all.
father, Dr. Matt Fowler (Tom - you know him, you just don't know
from where you know him- Wilkinson) a sullen, calm fellow, figures
his son's going to do what ever he wants anyway and is just enjoying
the summer "hangin" with the boy.
ex (or practically her ex) husband Richard (William Mothra, er,
Mapother) is starting to see red at this new relationship. This
young punk Frank is taking his kids out, sleeping with his "wife"
and basically taking over his home. The arguments start and Spousal
Abuse 101 begins its summer session.
Frank's a stand up guy and tries to control the situation. He
runs over, repeatedly, to help Natalie...
outcome is the worst scenario anyone would, could, predict- that's
all I'll say. There's very little suspense and a whole lot of
emotional crescendos. It's the actors, each doing their characters
a justice, that make this film so compelling where others would
simply lie flat and quickly slip into the shelf at the video store.
For sure, In The Bedroom will sneak into the awards ceremonies
this year, as most high dramas of value often do.
Tomei (Natalie Strout) should be able to ad a couple of trinkets
beside her Cousin Vinnie (finally) Oscar©.
I loved seeing her in Someone Like You
(a movie I still think is a fluffy puffy adorable story!). Here
she shows her serious actress side and it is radiant!
Stahl (Frank Fowler) is a total manfest treat extravaganza. He's
ayoung actor with a bit of a rep- which I suppose is why we don't
see all that much of him. Here Nicky's decidedly different from
his Bully role, but non-the-less attractive.
Oh, where he just a tad older
I'd roll him in flour and sauté
his adorable being in butter, top him with a dollop of sour cream
and slurp him up! Keep an eye out for this guy
Spacek (Ruth Fowler) doesn't work that often. But when she does
ohhwee she picks the roles! Affliction still disturbs
me. Sure we all remember her as Carrie, the girl with a slight
social problem, but she's done some pretty amazing things and
each time she's so translucent you hardly notice the actress behind
Wilkinson (Dr. Matt Fowler) played his doctor with an unswerving
calmness. I would have like to see him stretch from the Nicholas
Cage School of Acting (motto: one expression = all expressions)
for even a nano-second and burst into a rage or something
In The Bedroom is not for everyone. If you enjoy high drama
and realistic looks at injustice, run and see this. The editing
is a bit strange; sometimes making it appear undone. But for all
its faults the actors pull it together and make it a must see
for drama lovers.
Recommendation: Lobster fritters and beer