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The Impossible (2012)

Lo imposible (original title)
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The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Writers:

Sergio G. Sánchez, María Belón (story)
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Popularity
473 ( 177)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Maria
Ewan McGregor ... Henry
Tom Holland ... Lucas
Samuel Joslin ... Thomas
Oaklee Pendergast ... Simon
Marta Etura ... Simone
Sönke Möhring ... Karl
Geraldine Chaplin ... Old Woman
Ploy Jindachote Ploy Jindachote ... Caregiver
Jomjaoi Sae-Limh Jomjaoi Sae-Limh ... Red Cross Nurse
Johan Sundberg Johan Sundberg ... Daniel
Jan Roland Sundberg Jan Roland Sundberg ... Daniel's Father
La-Orng Thongruang La-Orng Thongruang ... Old Thai Man
Tor Klathaley Tor Klathaley ... Young Thai Man
Douglas Johansson ... Mr. Benstrom
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Storyline

A regular family - Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three kids - travel to Thailand to spend Christmas. They get an upgrade to a villa on the coastline. After settling in and exchanging gifts, they go to the pool, like so many other tourists. A perfect paradise vacation until a distant noise becomes a roar. There is no time to escape from the tsunami; Maria and her eldest are swept one way, Henry and the youngest another. Who will survive, and what will become of them? Written by Ronaldo Ferreira

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One family's incredible true story. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Spain | USA

Language:

English | Thai | Swedish

Release Date:

4 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Impossible See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,818, 21 December 2012

Gross USA:

$19,019,882

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$180,274,123
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Holland's feature film debut See more »

Goofs

After the wave subsides, and Maria and Lucas come to rest on a floating log where they catch their breath, a leaf on Maria's left shoulder disappears and reappears a couple of times. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: On December 26th, 2004, the deadliest tsunami on record hit the South East Coast of Asia. The lives of countless families all over the world changed forever. This is the true story of one of those families.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title and the rest of the credits do not appear until the end of the film. The only credits that appear at the beginning are the production companies' logos and an explanation of how the Tsunami came about. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Iylm
Composed and Performed by For Fiesta
Voice by Lluís Segura (as Lluís Segura)
Guitar by Marc Prades
Solo Guitar by Marc Gómez del Moral
Bass by David Gallart
Drums by Bernat Vilaplana
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not for the faint of heart
10 April 2013 | by julian-mumfordSee all my reviews

Despite occurring in Asia, the Boxing day Tsunami of 2004 was truly a world event, with ripples emanating around the world as many of the 280,000 plus victims were holiday makers from all over the world.

Focusing on a single family's true story, albeit changing their nationality from Spanish to English, was always going to invite accusations of filtering a tragic story through the eyes of a white privileged family, rather than the locals who lost everything.

This is perhaps unfair, in the same way "Schindlers List" might be accused of focusing on those few that survived. Highlighting one families initial struggle, by telling a story a modern audience can comprehend or realistically watch, is the only practical option. Artistic licence is regretfully necessary to secure not only movie funding but offer a ray of hope for a western audience to desperately cling to.

And holding on, is what you may have to do, even with the glimmer of hope offered. This is truthful, unflinching and harrowing film making.

Be warned, this is no easy watch.

The story centres on Maria (Naomi Watts ), her husband (Ewan Mcgregor) and three young sons, Lucas (Tom Holland), Simon (Samuel Joslin) and Thomas (Oaklee Pendergast), on holiday at a upmarket beach resort in Khao Lak.

The sense of foreboding is swiftly alluded to and when the wave hits, the effect is quite breathtaking. The effects are terrifying to watch but more than that, there is visceral quality to the sound and turmoil. A maelstrom of not knowing which way is up with the sheer terror conveyed in a unsentimental manner, stripped of the usual Hollywood veneer. "Towering Inferno or "2012" this is not, a disaster movie that conveys just that, disaster on a colossal human scale.

Managing to survive, Lucas and mum are reunited. The pair attempt to find help for the serious injuries sustained by Maria. The foley and special effect work providing suitably grisly and very believable sound effects and wounds. At times this only stops just short of horror, it is intense, emotional and deeply troubling. The response of Lucas to his mothers injuries and state of undress, is truly gut wrenching.

To say too much more would rob the story of it's emotional highs and lows. Overall the film is sensitively handled, with the film makers taking pains to show the local effort and help provided, hammering home that no-one is safe when a Tsunami hits, white, brown, rich or poor. Latterly the film suggests that that being wealthy or just holding good insurance cover, can whisk you away from all the unpleasantness. In the modern world, this represents undisputed fact. Whether this is "right", is a philosophical debate not likely to be resolved in a two hour movie.

The acting is uniformly good, Watts gets the most to do and excels in a role that cannot have been easy from both a physical and emotional sense. The young boys are all exceptional, on occasion Tom Holland showing world class talent. The director Juan Antonio Bayona, teasing superb performances even from his youngest cast members. McGregor is solid and certainly does not let the side down.

Whether the film needed to be made or indeed whether the intended audience exists, is subject to debate. Does it provide a small but just watchable glimpse into what such an event would feel like, yes. Will it live with you for a few days at least, certainly. For those directly involved, is this a fitting tribute to the human spirit and kindness shown, impossible to say.

Summary

A natural disaster movie that is both affecting, effective and unflinching in it's depiction of a very real recent event with several notable performances.

This is not for everyone, despite the focus on a white middle class family, this is no airbrushed Hollywood watered down TV movie. From the moment the Tsunami arrives, an emotional roller-coaster is unleashed and is not for the faint of heart.

http://julesmoviereviews.blogspot.co.nz/


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