Todd Field’s “In the Bedroom” is not an easy movie to watch. It is not a typical Hollywood vehicle that artificially stirs emotions for your $8 dollars.

It does not allow your crests and troughs to ultimately take you to a finale that is absolute and satisfactory.

It is the kind of film that leaves the viewer dumbfounded and unable to discuss it immediately after leaving the theater, because discussion would betray its gravity.

The “bedroom” of the title refers to a part of a lobster-fishing cage, which can sometimes trap two lobsters. When that happens, the lobsters often fight each other, with critical consequences.

The film begins to tell the story of a young couple ? the son of a local doctor (Nick Stahl) and a soon to be divorced woman with two young sons (Marisa Tomei). Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek play the parents of the young man.

The pitfalls of the relationship are hardly unusual ? an overbearing mother pressuring her son and a woman’s jealous ex, unwilling to move on and accept his loss.

However, “In the Bedroom” changes its focus drastically after the first act, shifting to an issue that is unfortunately as common as it is irresolvable.

Without giving away any more of the plot, I can only describe how this movie makes you feel. I found myself drawing parallels to Darren Aronofski’s great “Requiem for a Dream.”

Both films depict men and women in situations of utter despair, trying desperately to overcome that feeling. What makes “In the Bedroom” great is that the emotions of its characters are perceived lucidly by the viewer on a human level.

For this, much credit must be given to the cast, which performs with great sincerity and emotion. It really has no weak spots, with every actor being capable and talented.

In fact, Spacek has already been recognized for her performance on Jan. 20, when she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress.

I would not be surprised to see other members of this cast receive Oscar nominations, particularly Wilkinson, who was great as Dr. Fowler.

Although “In the Bedroom” has been released nationwide on Christmas Day, it has only recently become more than scarcely available in the Rochester area.

Now that you don’t have to squeeze yourself into the Little Theater, there are no excuses not to see this movie.

Bavli can be reached at mbavli@campustimes.org.



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