“The Impossible” an Epic Survival Story

J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible (A-) is a rousing and resilient adventure set against the horrific backdrop of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in Thailand. Italian is based on a real-life story chronicled by María Belón. A close-knit family played by talented actors including Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland find their idyllic holiday turns into a nightmare as black water devours nearly everything in its path. In the family’s darkest hour as they are plunged into chaos, unexpected displays of kindness and courage help punctuate their terror. Watts in particular gets an amazing showcase here and displays epic fearlessness and vulnerability, especially opposite remarkable child actor Holland. Cinematographer Óscar Faura should be deeply commended for recreating the disaster and its aftermath with such precision and accuracy. The film is spectacularly exciting and resists a tilt toward sensationalism as it depicts one family’s journey from separation to hope.

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