Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Watched: In the Bedroom

In the Bedroom 

This movie has been on my radar screens since its release in 2001.  At that time it was roundly praised, received numerous Oscar nominations and it apparently did well in release but I had little desire to see it.  The name of the movie and the few clips I saw made it seems like a Victorian drama about repressed sexuality or something equally unappealing.  However, a month or more ago I noticed it was playing on one of my cable channels and I recorded it on my DVR.  Finally, last night I watched it and boy do I feel like an idiot.

My first head slap was about the movie title.  As Tom Wilkinson's character explains it  'In the Bedroom' is a phrase used by lobster men to describe the negative aspects of having more than one lobster in the trap; lobsters are territorial and cannibalistic so having them locked up together for long isn't a good plan.  The foreshadowing might be a little obvious but you know I was hooked when the authors were using Crustaceans as metaphors for human relationships.

My second head slap was about the location.  The movie takes place in and around Camden Maine.  I don't know where it was actually filmed but the buildings and accents all seem authentically Down-East.  I love Maine so any films that highlights the state is going to be something I want to watch.

My last head slap was the films photography and use of architectural details as elements of the story.  A lot was written about the performances of Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei but to me an equal star of the film was the interior shots of the quirky N.E. style homes.  The angles of staircases framed through door ways, multi-paned windows, billowing lace curtains all are used to great effect to highlight the tension or emotion of a scene. 

Given the exquisite simplicity of the composition of this film I could have used less of a Hollywood story arc but I guess they needed something dramatic to happen.   I would have been happy just watching these people live their quite lives but the plot has a few twists and turns along the way.  The final turn wasn't needed but the film does at least end on a contemplative note.

All in all, a great movie.  I can't believe I waited so long to watch it.

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