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Drama - No Category

The Weight of Water (2000)


Duration 1h 54m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story A novel of the same name by Anita Shreve
Director Kathryn Bigelow
Writers/Script Alice Arlen, Christopher Kyle
Starring Carian Hinds, Sarah Polley, Catherine McCormack, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas, Elizabeth Hurley

Elevator Pitch: In 1873 on a small New England island a macabre axe murder has taken place, and despite a man being found guilty of the crime there remained doubts about what actually happened. In the present day a photographer, who has arrived at the island on a luxury sailing yacht with her husband, his brother and the brother’s girlfriend is investigating the crime anew. The film moves between the events which resulted in the murders, and the interaction between those on the yacht in the present day.

Content: In 1873 we see a couple of young people snuggling up, and two adult women under the covers, possibly engaged in sex. In the present day Adeline, played by Elizabeth Hurley, flirts with Thomas, played by Sean Penn often in front of Thomas’s wife. Thomas smokes (badly) and looks as if he is constipated. We know that axe murders have taken place, and so in the end we have to see it happen. And then in the present day there is a storm which results in a misfortune.

A View: This outing was generally disliked by most critics and remained on the shelf for two years before release. The 1873 events were accompanied by almost continuous droning narration, and surely a flashback within a flashback is a flashback too far. The flirting was almost embarrassing to watch and as for the storm at the end – don’t get me started. I have thought about making this a DON’T SEE, because it is so turgid, but actually it is just boring, so while it does not really deserve my ultimate category it is not really worth your time.

Additional Info: The murders did actually take place on the Isles of Shoals in 1873.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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