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In the Bedroom
Directed by Todd Field
Produced by Todd Field
Ross Katz
Graham Leader
Written by Short story:
Andre Dubus
Screenplay:
Robert Festinger
Todd Field
Starring Sissy Spacek
Tom Wilkinson
Marisa Tomei
Nick Stahl
Celia Weston
William Mapother
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Antonio Calvache
Editing by Frank Reynolds
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s) November 23, 2001
Running time 131 min.
Country United States of America
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $43,368,779 (worldwide)

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

Upon its release the film was internationally praised for its direction, script, and actor's performances, possessing a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[1] and a 100 percent rating among the "Cream of the Crop" critics.[1] It went on to become the highest grossing non-IMAX film in history to never reach the top 10 in a given week.[2]

With the exception of Napoleon Dynamite, In the Bedroom had the largest box office of any film premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in the last decade.[3]

A.O. Scott included the film in his The New York Times Magazine essay "The most important films of the past decade — and why they mattered."[4]

The film was nominated for the following Academy Awards:

Contents

Plot

"… a genuine modern tragedy. It's also the best movie of the last several years: the most evocative, the most mysterious, the most inconsolably devastating… I could barely breathe; I swore at the screen; I called for blood; I cried for vigilantism to restore the natural order; and I sat in shock when the natural order was and wasn't restored. That's the thing about a masterpiece like In the Bedroom. It isn't over when you leave the theater. It isn't over when you brood on it for days. It's just always going to be there, in the air…" [5]

The film is set in Mid-Coast Maine. The story concerns a young man, Frank Fowler (Stahl), who is in love with an older woman with children, Natalie Strout (Tomei). Fowler is applying to graduate school for architecture but contemplating staying in town, working in the fishing industry to be near Natalie. Natalie's ex-husband, Richard Strout (Mapother), is violent and abusive.

"Like Kubrick, Field's direction 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… also 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.." [6]
—William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Midway through the movie Richard kills Frank during a confrontation at Natalie's house, following a domestic dispute. Richard is set free on bail, which causes Frank's parents, Dr. Matt Fowler (Wilkinson) and Ruth Fowler (Spacek), a choir conductress, to become increasingly angry at seeing Richard running around town. Their anger grows when they learn that the lack of a direct witness to their son's shooting allows the killer to avoid murder charges, since the district attorney may have difficulty proving that Richard killed Frank intentionally, as opposed to accidental manslaughter in a struggle (as the defense would likely argue). Later, Dr. Fowler, believing the court system cannot bring justice for his son, hatches and executes a plan with a friend to abduct and kill Richard. 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.

Wins and nominations

Awards won are in bold text.

  • Academy Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Picture
    4. Best Screenplay - Adapted (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
    5. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • BAFTA Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
  • Broadcast Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film
    3. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Chicago Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Film
    4. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Florida Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
  • Golden Globe Awards:
    1. Best Actress - Drama (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film - Drama
    3. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Independent Spirit Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best First Feature
    4. Best Screenplay (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film
  • National Board of Review:
    1. Best Director (Todd Field)
    2. Best Screenplay (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
  • New York Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best First Film (Todd Field)
  • Online Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Breakthrough Filmmaker (Todd Field)
    4. Best Director (Todd Field)
    5. Best Film
    6. Best Screenplay - Adapted (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
    7. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Satellite Awards:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film - Drama
    3. Best Screenplay
    4. Best Supporting Actress - Drama (Marisa Tomei)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Ensemble Cast
  • Southeastern Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • USC Scripter Award:
    1. USC Scripter Award (Robert Festinger and Todd Field (screenwriters);Andre Dubus (author))
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)

External links

Publications

Academic Papers

Film Archives

A 35mm safety print is housed in the permanent collection of the UCLA Film & Television Archive[7 ]

References

External links


In the Bedroom
Directed by Todd Field
Produced by Todd Field
Ross Katz
Graham Leader
Written by Short story:
Andre Dubus
Screenplay:
Robert Festinger
Todd Field
Starring Sissy Spacek
Tom Wilkinson
Marisa Tomei
Nick Stahl
Celia Weston
William Mapother
Music by Thomas Newman
Cinematography Antonio Calvache
Editing by Frank Reynolds
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s) November 23, 2001
Running time 131 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $43,368,779 (worldwide)

In the Bedroom is an 2001 American 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.

On its release the film was internationally praised for its direction, script, and actor's performances, possessing a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[1] and a 100 percent rating among the "Cream of the Crop" critics.[1] It went on to become the highest grossing non-IMAX film in history to never reach the top 10 in a given week.[2]

With the exception of Napoleon Dynamite, In the Bedroom had the largest box office of any film premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in the last decade.[3]

A.O. Scott included the film in his The New York Times Magazine essay "The most important films of the past decade — and why they mattered."[4]

The film was nominated for the following Academy Awards:

Contents

Plot

"… a genuine modern tragedy. It's also the best movie of the last several years: the most evocative, the most mysterious, the most inconsolably devastating… I could barely breathe; I swore at the screen; I called for blood; I cried for vigilantism to restore the natural order; and I sat in shock when the natural order was and wasn't restored. That's the thing about a masterpiece like In the Bedroom. It isn't over when you leave the theatre. It isn't over when you brood on it for days. It's just always going to be there, in the air…" [5]

The film is set in Mid-Coast Maine. The story concerns a young man, Frank Fowler (Stahl), who is in love with an older woman with children, Natalie Strout (Tomei). Fowler is applying to graduate school for architecture but contemplating staying in town, working in the fishing industry to be near Natalie. Natalie's ex-husband, Richard Strout (Mapother), is violent and abusive.

"Like Kubrick, Field's direction 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… also 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.." [6]

Midway through the movie Richard kills Frank during a confrontation at Natalie's house, following a domestic dispute. Richard is set free on bail, which causes Frank's parents, Dr. Matt Fowler (Wilkinson) and Ruth Fowler (Spacek), a choir conductress, to become increasingly angry at seeing Richard running around town. Their anger grows when they learn that the lack of a direct witness to their son's shooting allows the killer to avoid murder charges, since the district attorney may have difficulty proving that Richard killed Frank intentionally, as opposed to accidental manslaughter in a struggle, as defense attorney Marla Keyes (Karen Allen) argues. Later, Dr. Fowler, believing the court system cannot bring justice for his son, abducts, kills Richard and disposes of the body, with the help of a friend. Dr. Fowler returns home to his wife.

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.

Wins and nominations

Awards won are in bold text.

  • Academy Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Picture
    4. Best Screenplay - Adapted (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
    5. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • BAFTA Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
  • Broadcast Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film
    3. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Chicago Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Film
    4. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Florida Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
  • Golden Globe Awards:
    1. Best Actress - Drama (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film - Drama
    3. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Independent Spirit Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best First Feature
    4. Best Screenplay (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film
  • National Board of Review:
    1. Best Director (Todd Field)
    2. Best Screenplay (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
  • New York Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best First Film (Todd Field)
  • Online Film Critics:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Breakthrough Filmmaker (Todd Field)
    4. Best Director (Todd Field)
    5. Best Film
    6. Best Screenplay - Adapted (Robert Festinger and Todd Field)
    7. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • Satellite Awards:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Film - Drama
    3. Best Screenplay
    4. Best Supporting Actress - Drama (Marisa Tomei)
  • Screen Actors' Guild Awards:
    1. Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
    2. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    3. Best Ensemble Cast
  • Southeastern Film Critics:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)
    2. Best Supporting Actress (Marisa Tomei)
  • USC Scripter Award:
    1. USC Scripter Award (Robert Festinger and Todd Field (screenwriters);Andre Dubus (author))
  • Vancouver Film Critics' Circle:
    1. Best Actress (Sissy Spacek)

Film archives

A 35mm safety print is housed in the permanent collection of the UCLA Film & Television Archive[7]

References

External links

Publications

Academic papers








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