The L.A. Times made us chuckle when they recently wrote, “One man’s ambitious, iconoclastic, like-nothing-ever-before-seen passion project is another man’s ‘Battlefield Earth.’ ” They were of course talking about the Wachowski’s polarizing “Cloud Atlas,” a picture some adored and some loathed (our review was on the negative side, but not quite as damning as some). The same ideas could apply to Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible” starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
Bayona’s long-awaited follow-up to 2007’s “The Orphanage” (an excellent ghost story/drama), “The Impossible — an account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time: the 2004 South-Asian tsunami — is seemingly as divsive. Some have hailed it as a powerful and stirring family drama that could be an early Oscar contender this year. Others, like our reviewer at TIFF, have called the film a treacly, manipulative and unearned tearjerker that is deeply melodramatic.
So which one is it? And or, is it entirely subjective? Truthfully, this writer loved “The Orphanage” so much, he’ll give it a shot, but obviously with some reservations. After all, this is a young man who was a handpicked protege of Guillermo de Toro and his inagural picture is a pretty stunning debut. To be honest, the idea of losing loved ones is deeply emotionally disturbing, but out of context these two new clips below do look a little overwrought. Either way, unless you’re at TIFF, you’ll have to wait until December 21 to experience Bayona’s sophomore effort. In the meantime, here’s the new poster the aforementioned clips below. [EW]