** SPOILERS AHEAD **
I saw this movie last night for the first time. It was by accident really. It was on ‘Encore’ and since it had received such rave reviews, I decided to watch. It also received at least four Oscar nominations. One for Sissy Spacek for Best Actress, Tom Wilkinson for Best Actor, Marisa Tomei for Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture.
The movie takes place in Maine and tells the story of a couple (Wilkinson and Spacek) whose only child is murdered by the ex husband of Marisa Tomei who th son was dating and how they deal with it afterwards.
The movie started out very well, even though it was pretty easy to see what was going to happen despite every description of the movie only hinting at it. Afterwards, the characters are left dealing with the loss, knowing he was their only son, and that any opportunity to have another has passed them by.
The performances are very good. Marisa Tomei was nominated for an Oscar, but her character seemed to be relegated to nothing more than a worried girlfriend before the murder and a grieving girlfriend afterwards. There wasn’t time to for us to learn more about her character and how her relationship with the son developed, so it suffers from that and she comes off as one dimensional.
Sissy Spacek’s performance was given the most ink and while it is very good the standout here is Tom Wilkinson as Matt Fowler. If you don’t know who Wilkinson is, you may recognize him as General Cornwallis from ‘The Patriot.’ His Oscar nomination was dell deserved.
The movie is paced slowly, but thankfully it wasn’t filled with melodramatic nonsense that would have easily made me go back to watching ‘Mallrats’ which was in the DVD player when I noticed this was on.
Unfortunately, the movie which started out as a dramatic character study, suddenly descends into a dumb ‘revenge’ movie that’s better suited for the claptrap seen on the Lifetime Movie Network, than an Oscar nominated motion picture. I lost all interest at that point, and spent the rest of the time changing channels, only checking back in to see how it would all resolve itself at the end. Problem is, there really was no resolution. It was though the writers couldn’t think of anything to do, so it just…ended.
I was annoyed that I wasted 90 minutes of my time watching a very good movie, only for it to be ruined in the last 30 minutes.