In the Bedroom
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At the beginning of In the Bedroom, Tom Wilkinson is showing his son's girlfriend's young son how to fish for lobsters.  He shows the boy a lobster with only one claw and says that this is what happens when you get more than two lobsters in the trap or ``in the bedroom" as he calls it.  This is foreshadowing with a vengeance.  Wilkinson and his wife (Sissy Spacek) live in a small town in Maine and their son (Nick Stahl) is dating an older woman (Marisa Tomei) with two sons and a crazy ex-husband.  Well, maybe you can guess the rest.  I'm not spoiling the movie to say that early on, the ex-husband kills the son leaving everyone else to deal with their grief.  It's also not spoiling the movie because even though it is full of wonderful, Oscar-caliber performances, the plot and script are very predictable.  The cast is an unusual mix full of actors who are not exactly New Englanders, Tom Wilkinson (birthplace: Leeds, England), Sissy Spacek (birthplace: Texas), and Marisa Tomei (birthplace: Brooklyn).  So the accents aren't quite right but each of these three actors does a great job.  Wilkinson, one of the candidates for busiest man in Hollywood, is best known for The Full Monty, The Patriot and Shakespeare in Love.  This role has a few echoes of his character in The Full Monty.  The other two actors are already Oscar winners.  Spacek is still best known for her role in Carrie but won an Oscar for Coal Miner's Daughter.  She made almost no movies in the 90's while raising her kids but has returned with some good roles, first in The Straight Story and now here.  Tomei burst on the scene with My Cousin Vinnie for which she won an Oscar but recently I haven't seen her at all except for a small role in What Women Want.  She's still good and shows it in this film.  Speaking of actors who have disappeared, watch out for Karen Allen but don't blink.  She isn't on screen for long.   Nick Stahl, who I only know from his role as the kid in The Man Without a Face, also isn't around too long but does a good job as the doomed son.  In the Bedroom is definitely worth seeing just for the performances, but like I said, you know what's going to happen all the way through, and rather than sticking with the interesting story of dealing with and overcoming grief,  the film gives in for an unlikely Hollywood-type ending.  But if you want to see a film that is likely to get a couple of Oscar nominations come February, In the Bedroom is a good bet.