In the Bedroom review by Matt Fuerst


Moving and Haunting

In the Bedroom is a movie that has stuck with me, even a full week after watching it. I don't know about you, but I find the true terror that a movie can impart isn't really in the slasher formula, or for the most part (aside from The Ring) isn't to be found in the horror in genre at all. Instead, I find myself scared when presented with some of the horrible things that can, and regularly do, happen to normal, good people.

You may have heard of In the Bedroom a few years back when there was some buzz for Sissy Spacek for an Oscar for Best Actress. If you are like me, you probably dismissed renting this, but I would advise you to rethink your plan. In the Bedroom is one movie worth exploring. We are presented with a nice Eastern seaboard family. The son, Frank, is young, about to go to college for his freshman year, and like many boys of the age, filled to the brim with dreams. He dreams of designing beautiful homes and landscapes. Additionally, he has begun what he describes to his mother (Spacek) as a "summer fling" with a good looking, but older and separated from her husband, single mother Natalie (Marisa Tomei in a great performance). Frank is lying to his mother, and maybe even to himself for a while. Frank decides to forgo his college dreams and stay with Natalie and her boys. Not surprisingly, this relationship upsets Natalie's still husband, Richard. The three of them create a pyramid of emotions, and by this point in the story development you know something is going to happen that will change the way everyone involved looks at each other.

Something horrible does happen, and no one is really ever the same again. With this setup, we get to explore relationships, the justice system, wealth and society. A whole host of territory is run over in brilliant fashion. Ruth and Matt Fowler, parents of Frank, spend entire scenes not communicating directly, but exchanging information regardless. We are treated to scenes with heavy undertone. Matt and Ruth spend a weekend with friends at their cabin, and on one scene lasting a few minutes, they simply talk about their friends new car, and yet there is enough information exchanged in the undertone to fill a movie.

If I had to complain about something, it would defiantly be that the first two acts of In the Bedroom are much stronger than the third. We are dealing with a lot of tension, especially in the second act. Throughout it, I was somewhat hoping for a violent resolution to the movie, which I really felt was an outcome of my Rambo-laden upbringing. I felt like I was cheapening myself and this movie story to expect a violent resolution, since, let's be honest, most of us don't lead a violent life. For most of us privileged enough to surf the Internet and read silly movie review web sites, violence isn't much part of our life. But, the third act of the movie does resort to violence. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely amazingly justified, I was just expecting a different resolution (while at the same time expecting exactly what I got. Boy aren't I a dichotomy?).

A neat factoid about In the Bedroom is that it was directed by Todd Field. Don't feel guilty if you don't know that name, since I know I didn't upon reading it, but then I went through his credits and noticed he was the great Nick Nightengale in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. Cool character, cool character name. Bonus points. Mr. Field does a great job with his material here and he gets a fuerstma "2 movie pass" card. (Meaning I will go see his next two movies regardless of whether I like the trailer or not.)

The DVD of In the Bedroom is a good transfer. There were no noticeable flaws in the transfer, and the colors looked good. Given the content, it wasn't surprising a lot of more muted colors were present, but that was on purpose. The sound outlay was good. It wasn't very active but this wasn't the type of movie with a lot going on in the rear channels. Most conversations take place head on, not much action in the rear. The DVD itself is fairly expensive (about $26 at Amazon) and has little/no real extras, so you'd have to really love the movie to out and out purchase it. But it is a great renter.

9 out of 10 Jackasses
blog comments powered by Disqus