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.