The Impossible (2012)
July 11, 2022 7:17 AM - Subscribe

In December 2004, close-knit family Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons (with Tom Holland as the oldest) begin their winter vacation in Thailand. But the day after Christmas, the idyllic holiday turns into an incomprehensible nightmare when a terrifying roar rises from the depths of the sea, followed by a wall of black water that devours everything in its path. Though Maria and her family face their darkest hour, unexpected displays of kindness and courage ameliorate their terror.

Written by Sergio G. Sánchez (El Orfanato. Directed by J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom).

Rated 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on HBO Max and available for digital rental on various services.
posted by DirtyOldTown (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is a an easy criticism of this movie to be made that it really should have centered on local people, instead of affluent tourists in from abroad to vacation.

That said, it all worked beautifully for me on watching. This family is relatable and well-portrayed. The Thai people in the movie are portrayed with humanity and respect. The disaster scenes are harrowing and perfectly done. And really, the whole thing is a wince-inducing nail biter. There's a lot of grace and kindness in this movie, scary as it is.

From The Impossible is 'beautifully accurate', writes tsunami survivor (SLGuardian):
Simon Jenkins, a British survivor from Portsmouth, wrote to The Guardian, stating the film is "beautifully accurate". This was in response to critics commenting that the film is "overdramatic" and "whitewashed". He says of the comments, "As I must, I've never been the sort of person to revisit and analyse events of the past, but some of these articles frustrated me. Had this film been purely about the tale of a western middle class family's 'ruined' holiday then I would have agreed. For me, it was the exact opposite. Rather than concentrating on the 'privileged white visitors', the film portrayed the profound sense of community and unity that I experienced in Thailand, with this family at the centre of it. Both for my (then) 16-year-old self and the Belón family, it was the Thai people who waded through the settled water after the first wave had struck to help individuals and families... The Thai people had just lost everything – homes, businesses, families – yet their instinct was to help the tourists."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:24 AM on July 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

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