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3.2 out of 5 stars114
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 April 2015
An interesting film with buckets of charm. It focusses on Mr. Heep (Paul Giamatti), a stuttering caretaker of a small condo which has seen better days. He cares for them like the father of a dysfunctional family, killing bugs and fixing lights. When he finds a young girl, frightened and vulnerable, in the swimming pool he takes pity on her. From there he is drawn into a world of myths and fables where the young girl's life is in danger and he must assemble the unlikeliest crew of heroes to help her return to her world.

The characters in the film are for the most part eccentric and distinct, all of them 'good' people, even the irascible newcomer, although unaware of their own talents. The comedy is gentle and I started to identify with many of the characters. The voiceover at the start grated a little, giving the backstory which for me gave away too much of the plot to come, but that aside I was so glad I stumbled on this little gem
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This film is like marmite, you are either going to love it or hate it, me personally I think its a stunning piece of work by the master M.Night Shyamalan, and as a big fan of his work he can do no wrong, well The Happening was awful, and this film has my personal best actor, Paul Giamatti, how could I go wrong. I know the screenplay is a bit of a mess, and crazy in parts, you could say this film is a fantasy, but if you can get past this, you will love this film, with a beautiful score by James Newton Howard.

The Blu-ray gets 4/5, plus sound 5/5
Lady in the Water: A bedtime story
Six part Documentary
=Reflections of the lady in the water
Additional Scenes
Gag Reel
review image review image review image review image review image
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on 23 July 2010
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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on 2 April 2015
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this film, gives me goosebumps every time! :-) lovely story which M Knight Shyamalan wrote (it was a bed time story he told his kids), but its great for adults too and wouldn't recommend letting your kids watch it on their own as there are a few scary bits! M Knight also stars in it :-)
Buy Buy Buy - you won't be disappointed by this lovely fairytale :-)
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on 12 December 2011
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.
As with many of M Nights other films they are, in places, humourous, exciting and touching. I would definitely recommend to fans of M Night or viewers who aren't looking for an action and can suspend their belief. If you can do that then consider this movie 4 stars. If you haven't enjoyed M Night's previous films then subtract 2 stars and avoid.
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on 17 April 2015
It's really nice film with an interesting story line (it a story within a story theme). It has elements of a fairytale, drama, mystery, comedy and horror. I liked it enough to watch it 2-3 times and it often comes back to my mind when I feel like watching something but I'm not sure what I want. Maybe because it's difficult to put a clear label on it? :)
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on 10 September 2015
Maybe four stars might seem too many for not one of his best films, but still I find this title quite consistent with M Night's filmography and style: an original storytelling that mixes personal drama and intimacy with myth and legends. A story that unfolds in a quite unpredictable way and where connections among facts and characters are more emotional than rational, although M Night tries to give an explanation, however fantastic and metaphorical, to what's going on.
But what I like the most about this unperfect and unresolved film is that it is a maverick film, that does not fear to be misunderstood and even labelled as sentimental and naif. But it is fascinating in a way. And Paul Giamatti give his best performance along with that in Sideways: moving, true, intense and sweet
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on 6 June 2007
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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on 16 November 2014
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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on 11 January 2009
This is not a review of the film. I have watched this on blu ray and all I can say is do not waste your money on this supposed high definition release. The DVD version will have a similar quality when upscaled. The picture quality is soft, grainy and blurred. There is no uncompressed digital sound, just a poor quality Dolby Digital EX compressed track. I have a very serious set up and have seen what Blu ray can really do i.e. Baraka.

Very disappointing that the transfer is so poor, film company just trying to cash in on HD bandwagon! Beware.
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