Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

In the Bedroom (2001)



Reviews and Comments

In the Bedroom is a dubious triumph of art over entertainment and substance without purpose. On the one hand, it's a beautiful character piece, about how...well, I can't even say, because one of the most interesting aspects of the film is that it lulls you into thinking it's about something it's not, then pulls a 180 with a shocking scene and heads in the opposite direction.

I admire In the Bedroom more than I respect it, and I liked it more while watching it than when thinking about it afterward. When the credits roll, I wondered what this film was trying to say and came up empty. The film had fleshed out some complex characters, though not necessarily ones we like, and it had engaged in some weighty drama, but to what end? Why does it go to such lengths to build such artful interlocking character arcs and then not use them toward a better goal? I want movies to affect me in some way, not just present me with great craft. I want them to entertain me, or inspire me, or educate me, or uplift me. In the Bedroom, as much as I admired it, did not do any of those things for me. My rating, therefore, is misleading: I'm torn between evaluating its craft and its impact and compromise with an average.