In the Bedroom (2001)

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Starring: Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, William Mapother, William Wise

Director: Todd Field (his first feature film)

Summary: A New England couple’s college-aged son dates an older woman who has two small children and an unwelcome separated husband

Other Nominations: Actor (Wilkinson), Actress (Spacek), Supporting Actress (Tomei), Adapted Screenplay

Coming in blind is definitely the best way to watch In the Bedroom, so I’ll try my best not to spoil anything as I absolutely recommend watching it. One thing I admire about it is how they are able to have not one but two different big narrative shifts during the movie, and that the movie still works really well as a whole. The movie is constantly asking the audience to contemplate the actions of its characters and is full of moral ambiguity in the best way possible-the kind where it leaves it up to the individual viewer to make their own judgments with no right or wrong answers. Not only is the screenplay excellent, we also have outstanding performances from Wilkinson (probably his career best, it’s a shame he almost never gets leading roles in movies) and Spacek as the older couple and from Tomei, the older woman (well, relative to Stahl in his late teens). The one other aspect that jumped out to me is the score, or more accurately, the lack of it with most sound being diegetic. Here, for a contemplative drama like this, having a over-dramatic soundtrack really just detracts from it (an issue I had with Manchester by the Sea, a film with a lot of similarities to this one), so I thought it was absolutely the right decision. If you like serious dramas, give this one a look.

Rating: B+

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