Watching "The Impossible" and "Holy Motors"
Published on January 22, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I review the new movies "The Impossible" and "Holy Motors."

Here's an excerpt:

"I’ve always had a soft spot for disaster movies. Take the 1997 movie 'Volcano.' This dumb and schlocky film managed to keep me pinned to my seat simply by filling the streets of L.A. with lava, and depicting terrified citizens attempting to stay out of harm’s way. The 1996 film 'Twister' offered similar thrills. So I was looking forward to 'The Impossible,' about the devastating tsunami of 2004. If nothing else, I figured the film would offer a terrifying glimpse of one of the worst natural disasters of all time.

And it does. 'The Impossible' is impeccably crafted, features fine performances and tells a suspenseful, gripping tale. But I found the whole experience of watching it deeply unsettling, and as the film progressed, I found it increasingly offensive. I knew going in to 'The Impossible' that the film focuses on an upper class family vacationing in Thailand, and their efforts to find each other after the tsunami destroys their resort. And I understood that this might be problematic — that by telling the story of the tsunami through the eyes of rich white people, 'The Impossible' would give short shrift to the storm’s real victims. However, I thought it would be possible to overcome my reservations and simply enjoy the film. But I was wrong."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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