In The Bedroom 2001 ***

Set in Belfast, Maine, Todd Field’s accomplished thriller is a careful study of New England couple Matt (Tom Wilkerson) and Ruth (Sissy Spacek), whose only son Frank is ill-advisedly seeing older woman Natalie (Marisa Tomei). Her ex-husband Richard (William Mapother), whose family own a local canning factory, is disturbed by the relationship, and an act of violence changes the course of the family’s history. The definition of a sleeper hit, In The Bedroom is a powerful portrait of a prosperous family-unit torn apart by selfishness and parental alienation, and also a caustic look at how grief unravels the truth about a mother-son relationship. Wilkerson and Spacek so often play supporting roles that it’s great to see them with fully-expanded characters to play, and Field keeps the whole enterprise grounded firmly in uncomfortable reality.


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