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In The Bedroom (2001)

In the Bedroom is based on a short story, Killings, by Andre Dubus. It is about a young man, played by Nick Stahl, and his relationship with a divorceé (Marisa Tomei) and her children. It is also about a wife (Sissy Spacek) and husband (Tom Wilkinson) whose relationship is subjected to the cruel, searing light of tragedy. It is about a community that creates at turns a lover and a monster.

In the Bedroom is a film about moments, about the clarity of human experience. Rarely have I seen a movie with so much fine, balanced acting and steady handed pacing. Upon each viewing, my understanding of it deepens. It is phenomenal.

My favorite scenes are: the fight in the kitchen, the poker game and the Longfellow poem, and the slap across the face. These moments are outside the narrative of human emotion often seen in films; the people in them react and interact organically. Organic interaction is defined by the possibility of the unexpected. At any moment in life, anyone could say anything. Real conversation doesn't always follow a neat path to its appointed destination. Sometimes it takes a direction that is unexpected yet inevitable. This movie exemplifies that quality.

In the Bedroom is my favorite film.