Nominated Role: As Maria, Naomi Watts portrays a wife and mother struggling to survive in the aftermath of a terrifying tsunami.
There are two cases to be made for Naomi Watts’ performance in “The Impossible” and whether she deserves her first Academy Awards win (nominated only once in 2003 for her leading role in “21 Grams”). The first case is that she only really appears in the first half of the film, as she spends most of the second portion of the film on her back in a hospital bed, attached to machines. How can this then be compared to performances that stretch through a full run-time, like Jessica Chastain carrying “Zero Dark Thirty” from its first frames to its last? Or Jennifer Lawrence doing the same for “Silver Linings Playbook”?
However, a lot can be said for Naomi Watts’ performance in the first half of the film. Watts is tossed, screaming, through raging waters and eventual dragged through wastelands in agony with flesh hanging from her leg. This highly impressive performance is bounds beyond Chastain’s and Lawrence’s somewhat subtle performances in comparison. But will it be enough to capture a win?
One of the most powerful “based on a true story” films I have ever seen, “The Impossible” not only depicts an actual natural disaster with the brilliance and detail of the actual cataclysmic event, but does so in an emotionally engaging and entertaining way. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts both take their turns carrying the film and both display the deep emotion of necessary to draw sincere reactions from the audience. The child actors are also impressive, drawing up intense emotion that goes beyond simple point and shoot mentalities, showing the sign of a truly talented director. The visuals are breath-taking, the emotions are taut, and overall, the film becomes to real and immense, that it is sometimes hard to endure. However, the revelations and peaks of the film are worth holding on for.
// Produced by Álvaro Augustin, Belen Atienza, & Enrique López Lavigne // Directed by J.A. Bayona // Lead Actress: Naomi Watts //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, January 13th, 2013 // AMC BURBANK // 31 films – 44 days //