“Everything I’d heard about The Impossible said that it was incredibly emotional and you should bring tissues. Normally not an issue for me, but I’d gotten really worked up just before the movie over some unrelated personal drama, so I was in a weird place going in. I am happy to report that I made it through the movie with my pride intact. The girl behind me, on the other hand…
The title doesn’t give you much to go on, but it’s the true story of a real family on vacation that got caught in that big tsunami in 2004. The film follows their struggle to find each other having been separated when it hit. A lot of how it played out seemed a little too serendipitous or coincidental. I get that the story was Hollywood-ized, and I think it was an acceptable amount.
What truly sold this was the cast. From the biggest names to the smallest kids. The full family of five was fabulous. Watts is a pretty strong contendor for best actress this year. Some of her earlier scenes, post tsuami were phenomenal. The combination of courage and determination and fear and compassion was so affecting. Ewan McGregor was equally strong, even if there was less focus on his side. He had this huge tearful scene midway through the film that could earn him a supporting nomination. There’s some stiff competition this year, but he’d certainly get my support. The other one facing some tough competition this year is Thomas Holland, who played the oldest child. I’d read that any other year, he’d be a shoo-in for a nomination. I was kinda skeptical until I saw this early scene where he gives his mother a verbal smack down to motivate her. Color me impressed. Beyond that he too had some incredible vulnerability and strength. He was the one holding the family together, even when they were apart. And the little brothers were just adorable, but not in a flimsy cute little kid way. They tugged at your heartstrings as you saw the disaster thru their eyes.
This movie was just beautiful, even when it was terrifying. Some of those images were intense (as evidence by all the gasps and shreiks coming from the girl behind me) but the impact was so great. Much more weight than a Hollywood natural disaster movie.
The Impossible – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/