Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Nominated: Best Actress
The Impossible is a breathtaking film, both in the beauty of the resort and equally the destruction wrought upon it by a tsunami. Every single one of the tsunami scenes, from the initial roaring crash of that first wave to all the subsequent waves and scenes immersed under water are truly terrifying, and filled with raw power. And yet there is some beauty in it especially in the sequence where Naomi Watts is under water as she is about to go under in surgery, the lighting is stunning.
Ewan McGregor is exceptional as the father torn from his family. And I have discovered that I cannot watch him cry without bursting into spontaneous tears, so not a good film for me in that respect! He is one of my favorite actors with a hugely diverse film history and this is just another exceptional film to add to that incredible list. There’s a depth of strength to his performance, especially when he is sending his youngest sons away.
Naomi Watts (Maria) gives a stark and painful performance as her body is ravaged by the force of the tsunami. She has extremely expressive eyes, conveying her every emotion be it blinding pain, worry or forced strength to protect her son. It’s an extremely strong performance but for me it’s not the most memorable in the film by far.
For me the most powerful performances come from the three young boys, Lucas, Thomas and Simon (Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast). And of those three Lucas is outstanding. You expect highly polished performances from the likes of McGregor and Watts and yet they are blown out of the water by their young co-stars. Holland gives an incredibly strong performance, taking a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders, both as an actor in the film but also as his character Lucas. He steadfastly remains by his mum’s side and shows an immense resilience. He grows up instantly, the moment the tsunami hits the shore. He also remains extremely pragmatic, forcing Maria to climb the tree for safety. And yet at times we are reminded how young he is, for instance when he notices how badly injured Maria is, especially on her chest, turning away from the damage done. In more ways than one it is Lucas that holds the film together. He keeps his mum alive enough to get treatment, reunites with his brothers while searching for his dad, and along the way finds people’s missing relatives for them in the hospital as well. It’s an incredibly adult performance from this talented young actor and he is one to watch in coming years.
The Impossible is an incredible film, beautifully shot and emotionally charged. I was deeply moved by it as although this family came home whole so many others didn’t. The Impossible is a hugely emotional film, even more so because of the reality of it, and in the fairly recent past so the horrific events are still relatively fresh in people’s minds.