Parents' Guide to

In the Bedroom

By Chloe Mead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Tragic masterwork is too intense for many teens.

Movie R 2001 138 minutes
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In the Bedroom masterfully portrays the quiet, numbing, day-to-day grief of the bereaved, marked by a continuous undercurrent of simmering fury that will suddenly flare into violent outburst. But despite their common sorrow, the Fowlers prove unable to collectively mourn, instead isolating themselves in individual suffering. When they do openly express their grief, bitter and cutting accusations and blame ensue. In the end, it seems that only the thirst for vengeance, the obsession with some sort of retribution, can unite this fractured family.

This film is tragic but never melodramatic; the story itself and its many silences suffice to convey the deep tragedy and pain. All the actors deliver stunning, understated performances, chief among them Sissy Spacek, who masterfully embodies a subdued, smoldering grief.

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