The Impossible

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The Impossible (2012)

Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona

Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland

Maria (Watts) and Henry Bennett (McGregor) are in Khao Lak, Thailand with their three young sons for a Christmas holiday.  On the day after Christmas in 2004, the coast of Southeast Asia was struck by one of the largest tsunamis ever seen. Now the Bennett family has been torn apart by the devastating waves. Now Maria and their oldest son Lucas are together, and searching for their loved ones amidst the devastation. While Maria struggles to survive in a Thia hospital, Lucas is hoping to find his family against impossible odds.

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I might have been living in a cave, but I don’t recall hearing much about this movie before or after its release. Yet it managed to earn Naomi Watts (21 Grams) an Oscar nomination for her performance. Hers isn’t the only great work in the film, which also features a great  performance by the young Tom Holland. This was the first live-action role for Holland, whose voice was featured in The Secret World of Arrietty. Ewan McGregor (Haywire) also does a great job with his role as the loving father.

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The acting in the movie is really good. Something I think should have been noticed by the awards people this season. Still, the imagery is even more impressive. From the tsunami, to the devastation afterwards, the movie depicts the harsh reality with great skill. The production behind this was really incredible. The visual effects and camera work also come together to make this a really impressive visual feast.

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I don’t have much to be critical about with this movie. It was intended as an inspirational and harsh look at very real human tragedy. In that aspect, it succeeded. This might also be a reason for some people to dislike it. When films started being made about 9/11, I was one of many who felt that this wasn’t a subject I wanted to see movie about. It was too close to home. This time I don’t feel that way, but I understand anyone who does. It makes this a film that not everyone will enjoy or even appreciate. I would also have to admit, there are some scenes that felt a bit drawn out, perhaps to heighten the suspense of the moment. It does work to a point, but it also slowed parts of this movie down for no reason I can see.

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With all the great things about this movie, I hope people will take the time to see it. It’s not a good movie for kids, with very grim portrayals of the aftermath of this tragedy. The acting is really good, as well as the visuals in the film. I give this one 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 114 minutes

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