Lady in the Water (2006)
USA / English
"Time is running out for a happy ending. "Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep (Giamatti) rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
A story about Stories.
The lest said about the plot of the film the better. Not because it's
bad because it's an imaginative one, and you should really go in having
no idea what you're in store for. That's part of the point of the
The introduction of this movie is done in cave drawings. It's a fitting
opening and a good clue that this movie is about stories. No, not
modern film, which many critics and audiences today think is about
pushing boundaries and constantly doing something 'new'. This movie is
about the good old fashioned story. The reason why our ancient
ancestors sat around fires and told them, and their ability to inspire
and save souls.
There isn't anything truly new about it (it has roots in the classic
fairy tales and epic poems of antiquity), other than the fact that it
dares to be a great film made in the mondern era in spite of being
littered with elements of the now despised classical story (which
apparently isn't good enough for modern film makers anymore).
The thing about these classic stories and the one that Shaymalan is
attempting to tell is that they have a purpose, and strive to inspire
society and humanity as a whole. They lead people to do great things,
and make us all feel better in the end, where most modern 'stories'
feel more like egotistical attempts of "artists" to make themselves
feel great and leave us in awe of their great greatness.
Christopher Doyle lends some excellent shots to this film, which some
how manage to make a scene of an every day loser frigthenedly warding
off a were-wolf type monster with a pool skimmer seem exceptionally
epic. At the same time it helps the story (for me at least) pull those
same strings that great stories like Gilgamesh, and the Aeneid pull.
I saw this film the day it opened and I was delighted. I came home, as
is my habit, and read all the reviews. A good section of this movie is
directed at attacking assanine, jaded, film critics who think their
opinions are authoratitive (it depicts them as being the ruiners of the
classic story), and so, all of the assanine, jaded, and authoratative
film critics seem to have panned it.
No one seemed really sure what the movie was about, but were all quick
to pan M. Night as being arrogant for casting himself in the role of a
writer destined to change the world. They, ironically, claim that he
was being arrogant, completing unable to fathom that their own
presumptions about why he cast himself in that role could in fact be a
good deal more arrogant...
I'll have to admit that I've been the jaded film critic before, but one
I came out of this one I remembered why I've always loved stories, and
why they don't' always have to be new and fit into some silly sense of
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