Lady in the Water

I'm a little torn on the score I'm giving this one. You see, on the strength of the writing alone I'd have to say this deserved two stars, possibly even one. The plot was pretty thin, and didn't mesh well with itself. That is, there were two major components to the story: a character-driven story about a man coming to terms with a past tragedy and a quest story about a fairy creature trying to get home. The second is what the film pays attention to, but the first is what the story is really about, and I didn't feel that was done skillfully enough. On top of that, there was a lot of jarringly goofy comic relief that didn't match up well at all with the more fable-like tone of the rest of the movie. On the other hand, the performances taken by themselves would have gotten four stars. Paul Giamatti, especially, did some really amazing work in this movie. I don't think I can give his performance in the climactic scene enough praise. And I always like Jeffrey Wright--he always manages to bring a quirky realism to even the smallest roles. Even M. Night Shyamalan did a pretty good job, stepping it up a few notches from his normally wooden self. So I guess I have to split the difference and give it three stars, which I find quite unsatisfying for not reflecting either part well.

Viewed: 7/20/2006 | Released: 7/20/2006 | Score: B

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