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Lady In The Water [DVD] [2006]

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Product details

  • Actors: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright, Bob Balaban, Sarita Choudhury
  • Directors: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Producers: M. Night Shyamalan, Sam Mercer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan. 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLTE9I
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,233 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Thriller written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film revolves around an apartment building superintendent named Cleveland (Paul Giamatti) who discovers a magical sea-nymph named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) who has been transported to this world and is living in the building's swimming pool. As this bizarre revelation sinks in, Cleveland becomes enraptured by her other-worldly charm.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Eastick on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
This film has been widely condemned and ridiculed, somewhat unfairly in my opinion. Theres a great many worse films around, although thats no excuse in itself. But Night has set the bar high with his previous work so that this film pales compared with his previous work. Thats not to say its a bad film, just dissappointing considering the talent of who made it.

The story isn't particularly well-structured and lots of things aren't explained properly and certain themes aren't developed. The story itself is something of a cross between a childrens tale and a redemption story, and trying to be both it doesn't quite do justice to either. To appreciate it you need to suspend your disbelief, and even after that you need to take a leap into believing the entire premise in the first place. However it has been touted as a children's bedtime story and in a touching way its reminiscent of the kind of tales you hear as a child.

All that aside, its a well made film, well-acted and has a wonderful score from James Newton Howard which really adds an emotive feel to the tale. Some of the characters are interesting, some not and some aren't developed enough for us to know (or even care), Paul Giamatti's 'Cleveland' is a nice sympathetic but tragic character and Bryce Dallas Howard is a charming, enigmatic and always pasty sea-nymph. Night casts himself in a major role this time rather than just his usual brief cameos, he does ok but the role he plays may leave you with questions of the man's ego.

Not a film for the constantly cynical amongst us, it is in fact a sentimental tale with a postively redeeming story to it. A good family film perhaps?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Irwin Winterchest on 23 July 2010
Format: DVD
Shyamalan has done for the fantasy / fairy tale what he did for superheros, ghosts and bogeymen in the woods. Kill them stone dead or re-invent them brilliantly and uniquely, depending on what you think of Shyamalan's style. Personally, I agree with brilliant and unique. Squeezing a fantasy world into one Pennsylvania apartment block populated with a menagerie of oddballs, and using that world to show a man coming to terms with grief and loss creates a bizarrely moving experience. The only misstep is the infamous critic mauling, as really this could be taken out of film without being missed and feels like a personal axe being excessively ground. But what the hell, critics get on my nerves too. And Shyamalan casting himself as the messiah? Works for me. His presence and, shall we say, restrained acting style is the icing on the weird cake. And the wonderful Paul Giamatti excels as Cleveland Heep, fighting to make sense of both his past and his narf populated present.

The simplicity of the story and its use of humour avoid it becoming the toe-curlingly pretentious work it could have been. This is Heep's journey through a strange fantasy world where he is eventually able to realize and release his grief. It is a journey the film documents admirably.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Mitchell on 12 Dec. 2011
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
Lady in the Water was a film I missed when it came to the cinema. Despite being a huge fan M Night the synopsis didn't inspire me, I'm not really into fairy tales and to me, the plot sounded nonsense. I eventually came across the movie again while browsing Amazon and decided what the heck, give it a go! To be honest I was surprised and enjoyed it immensely. To be fair its not a classic like Sixth Sense or as good as Unbreakable or Signs but to me it was very well acted and wove an intriguing plot that kept me glued right to the end.
I wont go over the story but Paul Giamatti is a wonderful and diverse actor who's character you really care for as he attempts to protect the equally talented Bryce Dallas Howard from invisible supernatural wolf like creatures. M Night also makes an appearance as a side character that is much more significant than his usual cameos. His appearance augments the portfolio of interesting quirky characters that constitute the local community that exist around the communal swimming pool Giamatti cares for. Its vastly interesting and entertaining how the somewhat isolated residents of the flats are drawn together and united as a community with the common goal of protecting Bryce's character.
The type of story and characterisation of the film reminded me of some of Steven King's best books, for example It. By this I don't mean that M Night is ripping off Steven King but the way he develops the characters who unite to help protect the Lady in the Water is carried in out in a simlarly intriguing fashion. None of the characters are super heroes, they all have their own faults and quirks and this is what mmakes the film so interesting.
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Format: DVD
I always find M Night Shyamalan difficult, even down to spelling and pronunciation. He's made at least one great movie in "The Sixth Sense", one that I apparently alone love in "The Village", some really awful clunkers like "Signs" and "The Last Airbender", and things like "Unbreakable" with a great core idea but terribly executed.

This almost falls into the latter category, not because of a poor story, but simply because the story is so badly let down by the film making.

The acting is universally dull, and the characters look like they're wading through treacle. Some of the filming is almost bad enough to be found camera footage, and the whole thing jolts around rather alarmingly, leaving at least me feeling rather lost on occasion, as if whole swathes have been edited out, leaving a jerky and confusing result.

The best bit of character appears far too late on in a way, when the critic gets into his stride. However, this in more than one way saves the movie.

But at the heart of this is a lovely, glorious fable which does actually survive its abuse, leaving a film I still very much enjoy despite all its faults. I guess if its faults were all corrected, we'd have a Spielberg style vomit express (OMG, that's got me thinking of "ET" parallels in the storyline; please wait while I do throw up) so while I wish MNS had done better with this, I still enjoy what is there, and enjoy longing for that better cut as a what might have been.

If I hadn't loved the underlying story and the Critic, then this would have got two stars at best.
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