Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: The Impossible (2012)

Maria (Watts) and Lucas (Holland).

Directed by J.A. Bayona
Produced by Belén Atienza, Álvaro Augustín, Ghislain Barrois, and Enrique López Lavigne
Written by Sergio G. Sánchez (screenplay); María Belón (story)
Starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Marta Etura, Sönke Möhring, and Geraldine Chaplin


In 2004, a tsunami in the Indian Ocean struck Southeast Asia, destroying miles of buildings, countless possessions, and hundreds of thousands of lives. This is the true story of the Bacon family - Henry (McGregor), Maria (Watts), and their three sons. When the films begins, the family arrives in Thailand for what should be a nice Christmas vacation. However, the day after Christmas brings a massive tsunami that wipes out most of the area and separates them from each other. Maria and Lucas (Holland) are left to find a hospital after the water levels drop, while Henry and the other two boys must discover what became of their lost loved ones. As "true story" movies go, it's a spectacular effort, and one of the genre's most moving ones.

I must confess I don't often cry at movies. Granted, I tear up when something moves me, but I don't actually shed tears. This film is one of the only ones to make me do just that: cry my eyes out. Within the first ten minutes, it had me, and I couldn't turn away from the screen. For the next hour and a half I watched as this family tried to find their way back each other. The film is, of course, very manipulative - and I suppose very accurate - in its depiction of the tsunami's devastating effects, but I didn't care. Led by three great performances from Watts, McGregor, and newcomer Tom Holland (in one of the finest child performances I've ever seen), this touching story is definitely worth a look. The film also features terrific production design, sound design, and visual effects, while boasting a rousing score as well. It never overstays its welcome, relying on a simple, powerful story of family's fight for survival and reunion. If you're at all interested in seeing it, I strongly suggest you do.

Oscar Potential: Best Actress (Watts), Best Supporting Actor (McGregor), Best Original Score


  1. Oh man, if it made a crier out of you, I would be a basket case watching this, especially since the subject hit close to home. Indonesia was one of the countries that was affected by the tsunami.

    I might just rent this one, not sure I can handle seeing this on the big screen.

    1. Yeah, it's hard not to cry during this one. Very powerful.

  2. If this film made you cry, it must be really powerful. I may even spring for a trip to the theater is this ever comes to my area.

    1. Indeed it is.

      Well, it's divisive. I'd recommend seeing it on the big screen, but it's not absolutely necessary.

  3. Replies
    1. The three main actors in the film give terrific performances. Hope you like it!

    2. I liked this film enough, was very touching and was definitely memorable. Tom Holland was fantastic.

      Nice review :D

      My website is back up and running by the way!

    3. Thanks! Oh, and thanks for the heads-up. Forgot to add you to my blogroll, but I just fixed it. :)