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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bite of Moxie
Matt and Ruth Fowler are a typical couple living in Camden, Maine when their son Frank returns home from college for the summer. They are an educated, friendly, and well-liked couple who exist at the beginning of the film as the slightly overbearing but loving parents in the backdrop of Frank's blooming love for a woman, Natalie, who is in the midst of a tricky divorce...
Published on 14 Nov 2002 by Eric Anderson

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner for a lazy day
I was disappointed with this film only because I had high expectations from the previous reviews. There are some solid, understated performances but really nothing out of the ordinary other than that. A simple tale, meandering poignantly over 2 hours and 11 minutes, a touching examination of loss and grief but nothing that (for me) is going to linger long in the memory. I...
Published 5 months ago by Delly


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bite of Moxie, 14 Nov 2002
By 
Eric Anderson (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Matt and Ruth Fowler are a typical couple living in Camden, Maine when their son Frank returns home from college for the summer. They are an educated, friendly, and well-liked couple who exist at the beginning of the film as the slightly overbearing but loving parents in the backdrop of Frank's blooming love for a woman, Natalie, who is in the midst of a tricky divorce and who has two children. However, after a terrible tragedy, the focus of the film swings sharply toward the Fowler couple and remains on them for the duration of the film giving a touching, accurate portrait of their grief and internal emotional wanderings. Alongside these intensely personal portraits we are given an overview of the instinct for survival in a slow, enclosed community. Director Todd Field is not afraid to let the camera linger on the characters as they force themselves to keep up appearances and find a way to continue a "normal" life. Ruth (Sissy Spacek), the most interesting and carefully drawn character, is a restrained and devastatingly resentful woman whose emotional pressure builds with enormous force over the film. You know that when she blows it will be huge. What is so moving and touchingly realistic about the film is the persistence of life in the face of others' tragedies. Poignant scenes between the characters are continuously interrupted by the small interventions of other people, a woman asking for change, a girl selling candy bars for a fundraiser, etc. And this inclusion of the trivial is what makes the devastation so biting. For the bright, hopeful beginning we are given, the movie turns into a dark and haunting affair of anger and hate. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking film that will leave you stunned.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slowburning portrait of family tragedy., 28 Jan 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
In the Bedroom feels very much a companion piece to Monster's Ball- American cinema tackling ostensibly 'heavy' matter in a way that doesn't lapse into lame irony like American Beauty or Storytelling. It doesn't tackle as many issues as Monster's Ball, focusing on a small fishing town & an affable middle class WASPish family.
Todd Field's film is a slowburning work, choosing a style that feels somewhere between Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (which Field starred in) in terms of pace & Kieslowski's Three Colours: Blue (1993)- which is another intense study of grief.
The film may not be quite as powerful following the initial viewing, and its messages are certainly confused- is this a moral regarding the acquisition of justice? The best things about the film are the music (by Thomas Newman), the camerawork & the performances. Tom Wilkinson is faultless as Matt, displaying an excellent American accent- why Jim Broadbent's standard turn in Iris was deemed better than this I don't know. Sissy Spacek is always great to watch on-screen, while Nick Stahl (Bully), Marisi Tomei (Four Rooms)& Karen Allen (MIA since Raiders of the Lost Ark, still very beautiful)are amongst the great supporting cast.
The film is roughly in three-parts: the first is a portrait of the state of things- Spacek & Wilkinson are the parents of only child Stahl, who is on sabbatical from college & has formed a relationship with a seperated mother of two (Tomei). Enter the father of the children, who beats Frank up, building up to a shooting...
The second part sees how white people with money can use the law to plea bargain & manipulate the system- reducing an act of murder to manslaughter. The grieving parents begin to act in different ways- drinking & smoking both figure. Here it is made clear that the notion of justice is absent, leading to the third part...
Here the film shifts into a revenge thriller, leading to a bleak underplayed denoument that reminds me of films like Blood Simple, A Simple Plan & The Conformist. The end is between theatrical & the transcendental- I particularly liked the open window, floating curtains & spirals of blue smoke. It is unclear whether the final act has left the couple in heaven or hell.
In the Bedroom is a very good film, albeit one that is bleak & may leave the viewer reeling in misery like films such as The Ice Storm and The Pledge. One of the strongest films of recent years that viewers with patience will find much of interest in.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In The Bedroom, 11 Aug 2005
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
"In the Bedroom" is an atmospheric small town drama that is both intelligent and moving. It's a very individual film and it's definitely not going to be to everyone's taste, some might very see it as quite a boring and slow tale, others might view the lack of action almost as a lack of imagination. Some viewers though are going to view it as a singular and quite extraordinary film that really does stand out on its own.
Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) is the local doctor in a small fishing town in Maine. Ruth (Sissy Spacek) his wife teaches choral singing at the school and their only son, Frank (Nick Stahl) is preparing to go away to college. The only slight cloud on their idyllic life is Frank's infatuation with local single mother Natelie Strout (Marisa Tomei). Although Natelie seems to be a devoted and loving mother, and is welcomed and accepted by Frank's parents, they are wary of Natelie's ex-husband Richard (William Mapother) who is a brooding and sinister presence on the horizon.
***Possible Spoilers***
Tragedy strikes when Richard guns down Frank after trying to break into his former family home. With a legal system that not only releases Richard on bail, but also seems intent on not making him face a murder charge, Matt and Ruth must not only face the future without their only child but come to terms with the probably injustices that are coming their way.
What following a basically a series of snapshot postcard film snippets showing the heartbreaking life that they now lead whilst in the background everyday life continues as normal. The scenes are extremely carefully and cleverly shot; sometimes without any dialogue they show the despair far better than a stream of contrived dialogue.
The film was nominated for 5 Oscars (although it won none) including both those of Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, and well deserved they were as well. Tom Wilkinson, a million miles away from Sheffield and the Full Monty, puts on a superb American accent and plays the mournful doctor with great feeling. Sissy Spacek is simply superb and the film is worth watching for her performance alone. There are other smaller parts which are equally well played, William Wise and Celia Weston as the Fowler's best friends deserve special mention. Also full credit to William Mapother as the evil Richard, quite a chilling performance indeed.
I'm interesting to read that a couple of the other reviewers here mention the soundtrack, as it was half way through the film that I realised the film is almost totally without music, apart from the haunting songs that Ruth leads her choir in I didn't hear any other music at all.
It's not a film for all, and you may feel somewhat worse after watching it than you did before seeing it. But that said, any cinema fans should watch it as it is one of the remarkable films of modern times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Bedroom, 25 Jun 2014
By 
Helena Newton "film buff" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Bedroom (DVD)
A powerful, intelligent, very moving tragedy. The acting was superb, although I wasn't convinced that a spotty, uncharismatic youth like Nick Stahl's Frank Fowler would ever have been able to pull someone like Natalie (Marisa Tomei) though perhaps the attraction for her was the contrast with her violent but very sexually-attractive husband. This is a subtle film: the trauma caused by Frank's murder affects not just his parents, Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek) but also the older child of Natalie, who had come to look on Matt Fowler as a surrogate granddad. The New England fishing background is beautifully photographed, the title referring to the plight of the lobsters caught by Frank and Matt which are trapped "in the bedroom" - the lobster-pots imprisoning them. The protagonists like the lobsters are trapped - by their emotional needs and relationships.

This is not a film to watch casually It demands concentration to appreciate its subtleties and the ending is inconclusive. There is no "closure" (to use the modern idiom) for these characters.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You either love it or hate it ., 21 Jan 2003
By 
Vlad (russianwriter.net) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I loved it ... my girlfriend fell asleep . This is the 2 major reactions for this film . If you like slow but very deep story ; if you ever lost a loved one ; if you understand the harsh reality of a little detail , painfully striking you deep into your hart ; if you prefer exellent cinematography insted of digital graphics - this is your film .
Small East coast town , usual people , usual little problems ... and tragedy strikes . The only son is killed by the ex of his girlfriend . But legal sistem works at it best , and killer still on the street . Parenths of the dead boy se him everywhere in this little town . What would you do ?
The moments of this movie , which shocked me the most :
First - when father walked in the son's room ... camera slowly shows the close on the floor , short on the chear ...the pillow with a headprint still on it ... he touches it ... and I swear , I felt the pain .
Second - when father faced the killer on the street. He looks at him ... slowly lookes down... and lookes back at him with the same speed as he rises hand with a gun .
And last one - when father quietly walks back to the bedroom... we shocked by surprise - his wife is awake and waiting in the bad ... few quiet seconds ... Did you do it ? - we shocked by her question as much as he was .
PS: For some reason , this film reminded me " Ice Storm ". You really understand what you have , only when the tragedy strikes .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Bedroom beats expectations, 27 Mar 2005
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
The Fowler family live an idilic existence in a prosperous New England fishing town, Matt Fowler (Tom Wilkinson) as the local physician, Ruth (Sissy Spacek) teaching music at the local high school, and their only son Frank (Nick Stahl) a talented architect due to leave for College in the fall.
Soon, though, it becomes apparent that all is not well in the family as Frank's involvement with Natalie (Marissa Tomei), a beautiful divorcee and mother of two, threatens to split the family. The rows are brought to a head when Richard, Natalie's former husband, becomes violent, beating Frank and threatening Natalie.
Frank is drawn at a frightening pace into the world of domestic violence and- in the hesitation to deal with the problem- murdered by a jealous Richard.
This is where the film really comes into it's own as his numb parents are left to confront their grief and anger, constantly haunted by a triumphant Richard who is unjustly released on bail and seems sure to avoid a murder charge.
The charged emotional intensity of this film is ably supported by superb performances from all of the leading cast, and by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack producing compelling viewing from the beginning to the unexpected end. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the Bedroom, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I received this DVD very quickly and it was just as described and would recommend the seller. I enjoyed the film very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 6 Nov 2013
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This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
really good film. very interesting from start to finish.really great acting.i enjoyed it .i would recommend this film to my friends
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5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 11 Feb 2013
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This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Expected more from this story but am glad I ordered it and will store it away with the rest of my DVD's
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Film. Sissy And Tom Were Brilliant, 23 Nov 2010
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This review is from: In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I loved this movie. It's very sad but well acted. Good that Sissy Spacek won a Golden Globe for her performance. She is a terrific actress.
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In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002]
In The Bedroom [DVD] [2002] by Todd Field (DVD - 2002)
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