I have problems with the third act and its change of direction, but perhaps that's a reflection of how intelligently things are set up in the earlier parts. Field is clearly an actor's director and understands the virtue of letting the relationships breathe on the screen, trusting to the subtle interactions and non-verbal exchanges. He's aided by two leading actors who perform with real generosity and depth.
Powerful drama veering onto thriller with stellar performances from the lead duo Wilkinson-Spacek. It is a masterclass in observational study & non-verbal language. Minimal gestures, close-ups and pauses that reflect on the wound that does never heal, a sordid pain like an eternal crucifixion. There is taste in the deliverance, subtlety in the language, feelings in those eyes... the pain is shared across the screen.
An incredible performance from Sissy Spacek is the rock on which In The Bedroom is built. Although occasionally wandering into unnecessary miscarriage of justice melodrama, a deliberately difficult ending rounds off a memorable tale of loss and the impossible attempts to regain what you once had.
"In the bedroom" is a classy and intelligent film driven by outstanding performances from Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson and lent poise by Thomas Newman's elegant score. Through his attention to detail, director Todd Field brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the small-town setting. The unimaginative and predictable elements of the plot (which weaken the film's climax) notwithstanding, this is admirable filmmaking.
When reading the blurb and watching the trailer for this film it seemed like it was going to be some sort of super tornado of drama and emotion - it was - but not in the way I was expecting. 'In The Bedroom' subtly embeds the deep and emotional conflict of each character into the audience. (As a footnote, Marisa Tomei is everything I wish I could be.)
The direction, by and large, goes unnoticed. The viewer is a complete observer in the lives of totally ordinary people to whom something completely devastating happens. You're a fly on the wall. It's perfect for this kind of story with these characters, who, are, like real people, much more interesting and complex than anything most of mainstream hollywood has to offer. 4.5/5