No film this year has moved me as much as The Impossible. Everything about this powerful movie comes together to make it one of the finest and most touching viewing experiences of 2012. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor deliver the best work of their careers as a desperate husband and wife who struggle to survive a tsunami disaster and to unite with their three sons. Young Tom Holland, who portrays the oldest of their boys, also stands out in a performance filled with depth and enormous sensitivity.
Based on a true story, The Impossible starts out on a cheery note -- a vacation for the Bennett family. On a bright sunny afternoon near the beach, each one seems to be having a fun time, so what could possibly go wrong? But a slight wind soon begins to disturb the calm, and almost in the blink of an eye, huge waves thunder onto the beach destroying everything in their path. The Bennett family members become separated, with one of them badly injured. This terrifying tsunami sequence is very hard to watch yet crucial to understanding how much misery a natural catastrophe like this can inflict on people in the area impacted.
We first see Maria (Watts) and her oldest son Lucas (Holland) trying to stay together as they look for any way to survive. Lucas becomes highly protective of his mom, and this part of the film showcases Hollandís remarkable acting ability. Watts also does a great job projecting her characterís courage and suffering. Itís a bravura performance, and we canít help caring deeply about her!
In the meantime, Henry (McGregor) and the two youngest boys (Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast, the cutest kids ever) face serious problems of their own. Plus they donít know where Mary and Lucas are -- or even if they are still alive. Then, sadly, Henry must leave them for a time to look for the rest of his family. McGregor matches Watts and Holland in his ability to show persistence, bravery and emotional distress here. He endows Henry with admirable characteristics that draw us to him whenever heís on camera.
J. A. Bayonaís impeccable direction, a splendid screenplay by Sergio G. Sanchez, intense background music by Fernando Velazquez, and the amazing cinematography of Oscar Faura increase the chances of this motion picture receiving many well-deserved accolades during the current awards season.
If you enjoy inspirational films filled with incredible suspense, donít miss The Impossible.
(Released by Summit Entertainment and rated ďPG-13Ē for intense realistic sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity.)
For more information about this film, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.