The Impossible is a Spanish movie made by Juan Antonio Bayona and written by Sergio Sanchez and Maria Belon. It is appropriately so since its a real story from the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand about the the Belon family and their harrowing story of survival.
This stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as the parents of three resilient little boys (Tom Holland, Oaklee Prendergast and Samuel Joslin) who get caught in the infamous and devastting Indian Ocean Tsunami while on vacation at a beach resort. Each of these 5 did a wonderful job of bringing all dimensions needed to the screen.
Bayona does a wonderful job of capturing the realism, terror and confusion of such an overwhelming event during the the early scenes of the first two waves tossing and turning everything in its path. There is a certain “Spielbergesque” aspect to the confusion and horror of it all, but I think the real brilliance is in the combination of the lack of relief one feels on behalf of the survivors, even when the water stops gushing. The desolation and the confusion of the aftermath is perhaps where the cinematography most excels.
The survivor search has the normal drama of net misses, but where it again captures a more subtle image is in the priorities that have to be made in disasters, the imperative of selfless kindness, and the numbness and isolation of survival.
The economic impact of a natural disaster (be it the Tsunami or Hurricane Sandy) is far easier to tally up than the long-lasting human toll it takes on families and lives. The movie does a wonderful job of putting life and love in a full dimensional perspective.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] S [/dropcap] almon Fishing in the Yemen is a rarity for Hollywood….a truly creative and entertaining movie that has a meaningful and motivational message. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know the gist…a wealthy Yemeni sheik with a British education wants to import salmon fishing into the Yemen and the nerdy and cold-blooded Sottish fisheries expert can’t get past the stats which say the project isn’t feasible. This is a story of faith and constancy in one’s work and life. It is such a fundamental belief of mine that enthusiasm and optimism are what make the world go around, that I find myself loving this film. I will not espouse the power of positive thinking in a relativity theory sense, but rather in a very human sense. It’s simple…..people want to be around enthusiasm and they respect perseverance, so they help an endeavor thus backed to succeed.
Ewan McGregor stars as Dr. Fred Jones, the fisheries specialist who works for the Fisheries Ministry right up until this bound-up civil servant throws over his job in defiance of a high-ranking Minister. What I like about Ewan is his ability to look so pained and pathetic while being so damned funny in a British/Scottish way. He is perfectly complemented by Emily Blunt as Harriet, the competent and compelling private banker to the Yemeni sheik. She obviously provides the perfect if somewhat conflicted and reluctant love interest for Ewan. Kristen Scott Thomas is also well-cast as the Press Secretary to the PM.
The magic here comes from creative screenwriting by Simon Beaufoy of Slumdog Millionaire and The Full Monty fame. And then there is the direction of Lasse Hallstrom, who brought us Gilbert Grape, the Cider House, Shipping News and Chocolat. All of Hallstrom’s work shows the subtlety of complex characters caught in difficult relationship situations.
If every young entrepreneur or hedge fund manager saw this movie and learned the lessons of faith and constancy….not to mention the value of conviction and integrity.
[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] H [/dropcap] aywire is a film you may not have heard about, but which has an amazing cast, Steven Soderbergh as its director and lots of action. It is a somewhat classic story of a high-impact spy (private sector variety) who has to fight her own in order to avoid being pinned with wrong-doing or, more likely, terminated altogether. This is SALT without Angelina Jolie, but with a very serious kick-ass star, Gina Carano, who’s claim to fame is that she does all her own Marshall Arts stunts and she is very good at it.
First of all, you have to love a privatized spy world where the senior government bureaucrat (played by Michael Douglas) negotiates contract terms and “hazard fee bumps” with the scrambling private contractor (Ewan McGregor plays the entrepreneur who has all the usual cash flow problems and sexual harassment foibles of any hedge fund manager). Take this as my prediction that we are beginning to long for the laissez faire government days of the Reagan days. After 4 years + of government control of the economy, we ALL. want to see more privatization ….. But expect a tougher negotiation with the government than ever before. If you spy services are tough, you should see the fight brewing over the huge housing sector privatization shift just starting.
But back to the film…who else’s ass does Carano kick? Well, let’s see….Michael Fassbender gets stratled and throttled. Channing Tatum gets a taste of honey and then a taste of blood in his mouth. Antonio Banderas gets his bearded Spanish face punched in mercilessly. Only Bill Paxton escapes her wrath….since he’s her Daddy who lives the solitary Santa Fe life.
There is little complexity in this movie, but the action and fun are well worth the two hours.