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In the Bedroom is a 2001 American crime drama film directed by Todd Field, and dedicated to Andre Dubus, whose short story Killings is the source material on which the screenplay, by Field and Robert Festinger, is based. The film stars Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, and William Mapother.

In the Bedroom
In the Bedroom Theatrical Release Poster, 2001.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Field
Produced by Todd Field
Ross Katz
Graham Leader
Screenplay by Todd Field
Robert Festinger
Based on Killings
by Andre Dubus
Starring Tom Wilkinson
Sissy Spacek
Nick Stahl
Marisa Tomei
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Antonio Calvache
Edited by Frank Reynolds
Production
company
Good Machine
Eastern Standard Film Company
GreeneStreet Films
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date
  • November 23, 2001 (2001-11-23)
Running time
131 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.7 million[1]
Box office $43.4 million[1]

The title refers to the rear compartment of a lobster trap known as the "bedroom" and the fact that it can only hold up to two lobsters before they begin to turn on each other.

Contents

PlotEdit

The film is set in the Mid-Coast town of Camden, Maine. Matt (Tom Wilkinson) and Ruth Fowler (Sissy Spacek) enjoy a happy marriage and a good relationship with their son Frank (Nick Stahl), a recent college graduate who has come home for the summer. Frank has fallen in love with an older woman with children, Natalie Strout (Marisa Tomei).

Frank is about to begin post graduate school for architecture, but is having second-thoughts and considering staying in town to continue working as a fisherman and, more importantly, to be near Natalie. Natalie's ex-husband, Richard Strout (William Mapother), tries to find a way into his ex-wife and children's lives, going to increasingly violent lengths to get his intentions across to Natalie. Ruth is openly concerned about Frank's relationship with Natalie, while Matt thinks it is only a fling.

Midway through the film, Richard kills Frank during a confrontation at Natalie's house following a domestic dispute. Though equally devastated, Matt and Ruth grieve in different ways, with Matt putting on a brave face while Ruth becomes reclusive and quiet. Richard is set free on bail, paid by his well-to-do family, and both Matt and Ruth are forced to see Richard around town.

The tension between Matt and Ruth increases when they learn that the lack of an eyewitness to Frank's shooting means Richard will instead be charged with accidental manslaughter. An argument erupts between the couple in which each one confronts the other. With the air cleared, the couple is finally able to find common ground in their grief.

Matt then abducts and kills Richard. He and a friend bury the body on the friend's wooded property. Matt returns home to Ruth, who is awake and smoking in bed. She asks him, "Did you do it?" Matt appears troubled and unresponsive. He climbs into bed and then turns away from her. Finally, Ruth gets up to make coffee. Matt rolls over onto his back and pulls a band-aid from a finger he injured hauling traps. Ruth calls from the kitchen, "Matt, do you want coffee?" Matt doesn't answer.

CastEdit

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

 
Wilkinson and Spacek in Field's In the Bedroom (2001).

Upon its release, the film received positive responses for its direction, script, and performances (notably Wilkinson and Spacek), garnering a 93% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 137 reviews with an average score of 7.9/10. The site's consensus states "Expertly crafted and performed, In the Bedroom is a quietly wrenching portrayal of grief."[2]

David Edelstein of Slate Magazine wrote on his review that it is the "best movie of the last several years" and described it "the most evocative, the most mysterious, the most inconsolably devastating" film. He further mentioned that the effect of the film "isn't over when you leave the theater" and that it's "always going to be there". He also called In the Bedroom a "masterpiece".[3]

Neil Norman of The Evening Standard stated that "...Field has not only studied the masters of cinematic understatement, such as Ozu and Bergman, but that he fully understands their processes... Field's achievement is such a perfectly consummated marriage of intent and execution that he need never make another movie. I would not be alone, I think, in hoping he will make many more."[4]

William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer compared Field's direction to Kubrick saying that it "manages to feel both highly controlled and effortlessly spontaneous at the same time; and his lifting of the facade of this picturesque, Norman Rockwell setting is carried out with surgical precision". He further mentioned that "like Kubrick, Field doesn't make any moral judgments about his characters, and his film remains stubbornly enigmatic. It can be read as a high-class revenge thriller, an ode to the futility of vengeance or almost anything in between."[5]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times stated on his review that it is "one of the best-directed films of the year" and that "every performance has a perfect tone".[6] He listed In the Bedroom as his third best film of the year 2001.[7]

Rolling Stones' Peter Travers called the film "an uncommonly good movie" that "will hit you hard." He also mentioned that "Oscar would be a fool" if it ignores Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson's "career-crowning performances".[8]

A. O. Scott included the film in his New York Times essay "The most important films of the past decade — and why they mattered."[9]

In the Bedroom was also chosen by the New York Times Film Critics for their "Best 1,000 Films of All Time." [10]

Among the negative reviews of the film include Paul Tatara of the CNN mentioning that the film "flounders" despite the good performances.[11] Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post said "it opens brilliantly" but goes on to "self-negating absurdity."

SundanceEdit

In the Bedroom was the first official Sundance Film Festival film to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture including three more nominations for acting and an adapted screenplay nomination. It received the most nominations of any film the premiered at Sundance until Precious in 2009.[12]

Box officeEdit

In the Bedroom was the second highest-grossing film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival from 2000 to 2009, after Napoleon Dynamite.[13] The film grossed a worldwide total of $43,368,779.[14] It went on to become, at-the-time, the highest-grossing non-IMAX film in history never to reach the top 10 in a given week.[15]

AccoladesEdit

Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Academy Awards Best Picture Graham Leader, Ross Katz and Todd Field Nominated
Best Actor Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Festinger and Todd Field Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Nominated
American Film Institute Awards Top 10 Films Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Won
Actor of the Year Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Actress of the Year Sissy Spacek Won
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Best Actress in a Leading Role Sissy Spacek Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Nominated
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Nominated
Best Actor Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture - Drama Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Nominated
Best Actress - Motion Picture, Drama Sissy Spacek Won
Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Marisa Tomei Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best First Feature Todd Field Won
Best Male Lead Tom Wilkinson Won
Best Female Lead Sissy Spacek Won
Best Screenplay Robert Festinger and Todd Field Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Won
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
National Board of Review Awards Best Director Todd Field Won
Best Screenplay Robert Festinger and Todd Field Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best First Film Todd Field Won
Best Actor Tom Wilkinson Won
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Film Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Nominated
Best Director Todd Field Nominated
Best Actor Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Best Actress Sissy Spacek Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Nominated
Best Screenplay - Adapted Robert Festinger and Todd Field Nominated
Best Breakthrough Filmmaker Todd Field Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Film - Drama Graham Leader, Ross Katz, Todd Field Won
Best Actress - Drama Sissy Spacek Won
Best Supporting Actress - Drama Marisa Tomei Nominated
Best Screenplay - Adapted Robert Festinger and Todd Field Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Tom Wilkinson Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Sissy Spacek Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture William Mapother, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, Celia Weston, Tom Wilkinson, William Wise Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won
Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei Won
Sundance Film Festival Awards Special Jury Prize - Dramatic Acting Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson Won
USC Scripter Award USC Scripter Award Robert Festinger and Todd Field (screenwriters) and Andre Dubus (author) Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Best Actress Sissy Spacek Won

Film archivesEdit

A 35mm safety print is housed in the permanent collection of the UCLA Film & Television Archive[16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "In the Bedroom (2001) - Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "In the Bedroom". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  3. ^ Edelstein, David (23 November 2001). "In the Thrall". Slate Magazine. 
  4. ^ Norman, Neil (January 24, 2002). "A fatal summer affair". The Evening Standard. 
  5. ^ Arnold, William (25 December 2001). "Pulling Back the Covers on an Idyllic Life". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger. "In the Bedroom". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Roger Ebert Top 10 List". Alumnus.caltech.edu. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Travers, Peter. "In the Bedroom". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Scott, A. O. (12 November 2009). "Screen Memories". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "NYT In the Bedroom Overview". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-08-22. 
  11. ^ Tatara, Paul. "'Bedroom' well-performed, but severe Dreadful atmosphere". Cnn.com. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Turitz, Neil. "Sundance at the Oscars". Studio System News. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Ten Grossers At Sundance this Decade". Indiewire.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  14. ^ In the Bedroom at Box Office Mojo
  15. ^ "Top Grossing Movies That Never Hit the Top 10 at the Box Office". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "'In the Bedroom' UCLA Film Archives". UCLA Film and Television Archive. June 25, 2002. 

External linksEdit