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The Weight of Water

Starring: Catherine McCormack, Sarah Polley, Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley and Josh Lucas
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Rated: R

 

Two tales of betrayal and lost love commingle through the centuries as a photojournalist of our era researches and sinks beneath the surface of a century old double murder. Set in the cold barren lands of the Isles of Shoal east of New Hampshire, the novel by Anita Shreve comes to life as director Kathryn Bigelow weaves the tales back and forth. Sometimes the editing is tad overkill but for the most part The Weight of Water pulls off the multiple flashback sequences within a sequence.

Of course the tale's appeal isn't hindered by the fact that pouty pussed Sean - Mr. Talent to you buddy - Penn stars as the pouty pussed poet and Josh Lucas stars as his free-spirited brother combined with a ironclad performance by as the poet's suspicious wife Catherine McCormack and a properly tart-like show by tart-like Elizabeth Hurley respresent this era. A cast of equally talented folks represent the past; Sarah Polley (who looks as if she shares DNA with Uma Thurman here), Vinessa Shaw, Katrin Cartilidge, and Ciaran Hinds.

We meet the modern day four as they set sail for Smuttynose Isle to combine a job Jean (Catherine McCormack) has regarding the double murders. They think it would be a hoot to combine the job with some well-needed vacation time. Thomas, (Sean Penn) and Jean are obviously having marital troubles. They have these all-too-familiar- glares shooting back and forth from the very first frame. That's okay; poet boy's brother (Josh Lucas) pretends (for awhile) not to notice and introduces his new chickbabe gal pal Adeline (Elizabeth Hurley). Adeline is basically openly infatuated with poet boy and the feline hairs on Jean's neck perk up and the claws inch out. The four sail on into hidden love cove and betrayal reefs.

Meanwhile back in 1870 or so, the new bride of a salty fisherman Maren (Sarah Polley) is arriving to her rock. Poor kid. She comes all the way to America to be locked away on a cold barren rock. Hmm, could it be a metaphor for things hidden in her past? Soon enough she witnesses these gruesome murders and is the only one to survive the attacks. But, as with any self-respecting thriller, there is more to this soft immigrant than meets the eye.

The set and scenes are so real you get "chilly" watching.

Sean Penn does what Penn does; sublimely delivering up this Thomas character without a bead of sweat. His fellow actors hold their own nicely beside the "legend" - thank you. Sea's hair is hysterical in this. Geese it's naturally bouffant and sticks straight up at times…I couldn't help but giggle. Brilliant or not he needs some Aquanet!

This Josh Lucas chap is growing on me. He didn't have that odd lemon sucking expression he wore in Sweet Home Alabama this time. And the fact that he frequently disrobed and flutter about in the surf helped raise the girly eyebrow a bit. A budding Yummitini with a twist of retina sweet purrfection gals…keep an eye peeled for this mansicle!

Catherine McCormack and Elizabeth Hurley bounce of each other quite nicely. Catherine gets some pretty good scenes in. As Jean who is discovering secrets old and new, she nails the persona.

Sarah Polley was a tad one dimensional as the Norwegian of yesteryear. Yes never changed expressions. I kept thinking, "Okay, she's miserable- we get that- but even miserable people shift facial muscles…. no?" I'll wait till next sighting to judge her.

This is a fun thriller, just not something that is "exceptional." A delightful cast gives us a delightful, if often predictable, excursion into another land and more than one tale entertain us for a while.

Snack recommendation: Cod fish and wine


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