In the Bedroom is a domestic drama notable for its powerful ending and gripping performances. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson are a couple whose family is torn asunder when their son’s relationship with a separated woman (Marisa Tomei) becomes serious, and her ex-husband intervenes.Director Todd Field co-wrote the screenplay, based on a short story by Andre Dubus. He expands on the story by adding background detail of the characters’ lives in a small Maine fishing town. Field elicits moving and naturalistic performances from his cast, especially Spacek as a quietly controlling and bitter mother.
The film moves inexorably through three acts, which deal respectively with love, grief and anger. In the Bedroom considers what these emotions make people capable of. It raises everyday issues like children with two fathers, and the relationship between parents and adult children.The final act admirably captures the determined coldness of the Dubus piece. Field, cinematographer Antonio Calvache and the actors present the climactic scenes without sentimentality or moralising. As a result, they’re difficult to shake from your memory.