"Go and help people.”
The Impossible is based on a true story about a family vacationing in Thailand in 2004 when a cataclysmic earthquake in the Indian Ocean unleashed history’s most destructive tsunami.
The film begins with director Juan Antonio Bayona’s dynamo tsunami scene that surpasses Clint Eastwood's once-impressive one in Hereafter. Bayona captures the magnitude of the disaster’s effect on thousands of people in Thailand, but he soon moves to a more personal story. One that is haunting, poignant — and tough to watch at times.
The full cast does a remarkable job of convincing us of their personal struggles to tell us something about humanity. Mel Gibson and Anne Hathaway would have screamed through this; kudos to the subtle and refined Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
Simply put: An astonishing real life story.
Award potential: Watts is the underdog to win Best Actress. Ewan McGregor’s category was too tough for someone who split the screen time with the her, and the film was also robbed of a nomination for Best Visual Effects.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks. Bring tissues.