In the Bedroom

Directed by Todd Field
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei, William Mapother.
MPAA Rating: R for some violence and language.

Review by Matt Heffernan <>
February 13, 2002

In the six weeks since I've seen In the Bedroom, it has managed to win several major awards, including a Golden Globe, two National Board of Review awards, and now five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, yet it has still made less money than Joe Somebody. Furthermore, I'm still too filled with trepidation to talk about the film's premise as any information would be a major spoiler.

To start, the film depicts a romance between a single mother in her early 30s (Marisa Tomei) and a young man who is about to go to college (Nick Stahl). The young man's parents (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson) try to counsel him on the relationship and his problems with the woman's ex-husband (William Mapother).

Then something happens that changes the entire dynamic of the film from its character focus to its tone. It is quite simply one of the most affecting dramas of recent years. The story continues in unpredictable ways and the characters go through an incredible range of emotions. Spacek and Wilkinson each give outstanding performances worthy of the Oscars for which they have been nominated.

I'm really not comfortable saying anything more about the film, other than: see it for yourself. Help it earn somewhere in the Shallow Hal range.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
In the Bedroom (2001)

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In the Bedroom, a novella by Andre Dubus -- Paperback
In the Bedroom: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc Home
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Review © 2002 Matt Heffernan