In the Bedroom (2001)
Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek play the parents of a teenage boy dating an older single-mother in a sleepy Maine fishing town. Their lives are shattered when their son is killed his new girlfriend’s ex-husband…..but will grief push them to into the abyss?
An enthralling drama, performed to ‘best-picture’ standard by an electric and eclectic cast. And believe me, for me to say this is unusual, I’m not frequently a fan of these sorts of movies.
Wilkinson plays Dr Matt Fowler, who on the outside at least, is the steadier of the pair whilst Spacek is a slightly more subdued version of her usual ‘bad-shit mad’ self – she’s the neurotic, chain-smoking teacher. The pair’s descent into uncontrollable grief is harrowing and whilst the ending is a bit predictable, it’s still tense as hell.
The use of silence in this film is very effective; the scene in which Dr Fowler learns of his son’s death and then trudges through a deserted school corridor to inform his wife is marvellous. My favourite moment of the movie occurs in the final third or so. Wilkinson’s Dr Fowler is playing cards with his buddies, however, given his new-found grief, they no-longer heckle him about taking so long to play a hand as they once did. To paraphrase, he screams “for god’s sake say something” as a silence encapsulates the room; his friends remain mute until one of them, an elder gentlemen fond of quoting poetry, slowly and methodically recites an achingly touching and relevant Blake poem to a visibly emotional Wilkinson. It’s hard to watch but superbly done.
I really like this movie, it’s the sort of film you just can’t help being glued too, the sort of film that you actually switch off your phone to watch and the sort of film which just hangs around in your head for days. It’s entertainment too.
hotdog rating: 8/10