As a parent of 4 beautiful children, I found The Impossible to be one of the most gripping movies of 2012. The story is extremely tragic and emotionally charged, featuring some of the most captivating scenes transposed to film this year. Not only are the scenes of the Tsunami and it's destruction painted in vivid detail, but the movie delivers on an emotional level that will resonate with anyone that's ever been a parent. Taking in to account all the grim details of that fateful day, The Impossible captures one family's journey to find one another against all the devastating odds that mother nature laid before them.
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor absolutely shine in this film. Simply put, this is some of the best dramatic work of their expansive careers. Watts believably transforms herself in to the loving mother of three boys while McGregor distinctly becomes their desperate father. As they both succeed in the respective roles, the child actors in The Impossible also excel at capturing innocence lost with three extremely moving performances. Young star Tom Holland is inspiring in his role as their son, Lucas. Oaklee Pendergrass tugs at your heart with a depth of character not often found in child stars. I can't imagine it was an easy task to induce such engrossing scenes with young inexperienced actors, but The Impossible does just that.
Whenever the film seems to be sliding of the rails in to a sappy tear jerker, it reigns you back in with it's honest depiction of this family's realistic struggle. Director Juan Antonio Bayona has a firm grasp on exactly when to tug at your heart and when to let go. Boyana has not directed many English speaking films but I sense we are going to see a lot more from him.
It's not too often that a movie moves me to the edge of tears. The Impossible is one of the only films of 2012 that had me on the edge of my seat, all the while on the brink of an emotional meltdown. The film is a portrayal of human endurance against a malevolent mother nature and the sheer magnitude of her omnipresent wrath. Although some of the facts have been changed to suit the story, The Impossible is an inspiring story that defines the importance of family and the will to live.
edit: As I've already posted my top 10 of 2012, this film would sit firmly in that list if it hadn't already been published and edited once.