Picture This! Reviews The Sea Inside
“…reviewing ‘The Sea Inside’ is virtually impossible for me.”
By Rebecca Redshaw
We get caught up in hoopla. We all do. With Oscars now placed on select mantles and advertising hysteria subdued until next year, it’s a good time to reflect on what Academy Award nominations mean beyond the obvious.
Yes, it means more box office for the studios. Yes, at least hypothetically, it should raise the quality of scripts for the actors involved. (Keeping in mind that a win never assures future career success.)
The awards process does make us aware; aware of movies that might otherwise collect dust on video shelves (Sideways and Finding Neverland), aware of actors who consistently give good performances yet reel in oblivion (Virginia Madsen, Don Cheadle, and Imelda Staunton), and aware that the box office bonanzas of the past year do not always reflect quality of cinematic art (The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11).
Recently a friend asked if I preferred foreign language movies to American films. My glib response, “I like movies without car wrecks or explosions”, was only partially true. A screeching car chase or a timely explosion makes my blood pressure rise to a dangerous and exciting level in a darkened theatre.
But honestly, I do enjoy foreign films more, for the same reason independent films have greater appeal to me. For the most part, because of budget restraints, special effects and costly stunts are more often than not, kept at a minimum with art house relegated movies. The story drives the action. The script reveals the characters. I like having to listen to what’s being said. I like having to think about actions and reactions.
That’s why reviewing The Sea Inside is virtually impossible for me. I have no intention of revealing the story other than it is one man’s struggle to control his destiny. No offence to Oscar winners past and present, but Javier Bardem gives the performance of a lifetime. Every family member is perfectly cast. Director Alejandro Amenábar tells an emotionally charged story with wisdom beyond his years.
Based on actual events, The Sea Inside tackles the “hot button” topic of euthanasia with humor, sensitivity, frustration, and love. Is this really how you want to spend two hours of your life, watching a quadriplegic fight, not for life, but for death?
Yes. It’s what moviemaking is all about.
Rebecca Redshaw is the Arts& Entertainment Critic for www.NotesFromHollywood.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.