I’m tempted to chuck this in the waste of time category and include some spoilers here… although the image above is already spoilerish. But who doesn’t know what happens in this movie in advance (pretty much all the way to the end).
Some amazing effects and ‘set design’ obviously, coupled with some heart-breaking acting performances (if you’re in the right state of mind for that kind of thing – which I unfortunately wasn’t on that day).
Expected something better from Juan Antonio Bayona, but I guess he didn’t have much to work with and had to concentrate on the visuals instead and try to get what he could from the actors, who under these circumstances were ok I suppose. None of them were particularly memorable, and Naomi Watts was at times a bit hard to watch, Ewan McGregor over the top at times; the kids were pretty good mostly though.
The main negative criticism really is to do with how the story deals with what actually happened, and considering this can really affect your opinion of this movie. Just so you know.
Two hours well spent. After seeing this film I had the weirdest feeling that instead of watching a movie I had just finished a great book. I really can’t say why and I think there’s no point in going there more than this.
Watching this flick won’t cause you epileptic seizures, nor shall it pop your ears. You will also not be sitting on the edge of your seat wondering who did it, because it is kind of obvious from fairly early on. But you shall be enjoying those couple of hours from a movie that is in its most simplest and honest forms. All the tricks and special effects are in the script, editing, camerawork and performances. And all these are beautifully coordinated by mr. Polanski.
But don’t panic, this isn’t a movie just for movie buffs in film school. (Though it would make great material for teaching the basics of story telling in the art of cinema) The story keeps you interested, it has all the elements of a good thriller. I’ve always liked Ewan, and he doesn’t let you down. No complaints about the rest of the cast either. It is also nice to see that someone still remembers that you don’t necessarily have to cut every few seconds. All in all this piece of art will probably not be in the top movies of the decade, but it is well crafted and enjoyable – good entertainment.