Just finished watching a movie from 2001 that I never heard of - kind of surprising, although in the run-up to awards season that year we were all a little preoccupied. It's "In the Bedroom" - here's the Netflix blurb:
Set in a tranquil town on the Maine coast, In the Bedroom tells the story of a couple (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson) whose teenage son (Nick Stahl) is involved in a love affair with a single mother (Marisa Tomei). When the relationship comes to a sudden and tragic end, the boy's parents must face their worst nightmare and embark on a dark, dangerous psychological journey. Spacek and Wilkinson turn in stunning performances.
For "teenage son" read, I think, "college-age son," and that's a reasonable description.
I found this movie to be really gripping, although there were parts of it I really didn't care about. The first part of the movie seemed to me to be mostly setup for the second, without a lot of intrinsic value of its own. The second half is tremendous; the push-pull between Spacek and Wilkinson, their ability to portray sorrow and anger and grief and hatred -- an amazing amount of tension in their scenes. As I watched the big scene between them I thought "either the writing or the acting or the timing is off, here" - but the awkwardness could well have been intentional and it was still a hell of a scene.
I wasn't even all that crazy about how the story ended. But I'll probably watch this one again. If you're into dark movies heavy on character, this one might be worth a try.
This perfectly observed, wrenchingly acted drama about a middle-class New England couple coping with the murder of their 21-year-old son cuts to the quick. Its portrait of grief, rage, jealousy, flawed justice and revenge in a Maine lobstering town zeroes in on its characters' tragic flaws, yet refuses to condemn them.
I wonder how I missed this movie?