"Lady In the Water"

Paul Giamatti
Bryce Dallas Howard
M. Night Shyamalan
Jeffrey Wright
Sarita Choudhury
Bob Balaban
Noah Gray-Cabey

PG13           110min           2006

“Lady in the Water” is a movie written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan that uses a bedtime story he tells his children as the plot device to a very interesting film about a man finding a woman swimming in the apartment pool after hours. This chance encounter drives this story of finding one’s true self and purpose in a chaotic world.

Mr. Shyamalan has brought another find tale to the screen. This one doesn’t shock you as the “Sixth Sense” and its more plausible than “The Village”. It’s an engrossing tale. I was halfway through it when I fell asleep…it will stay with you through the night. I woke up several times during the night with images from the movie in my dreams and I would think I should just finish it. It should be noted that it wasn’t that the movie was boring, it was just that I was that tire and shouldn’t have started it that tired anyway.

Bryce Dallas Howard, Opie’s little girl, brings in a strong performance and she’s believable in the part. I found that this film has a strong performance by M. Night Shyamalan, himself. In his other screen acting ventures him seemed small and meager. This time there was more of a confident in him, a strong sense of maturity. Paul Giamatti’s performance it what makes you care about the other character and the situations that each faces.

It ended kind of flat and left you think “this was it”, but you should not hold it against the movie. Most fairy tales are like that. It moved at a great pace, as one question was answered another one question would arise, until you were left with one ending question ‘What happens next?”. You want to know what becomes of these characters and you want to see their futures played out.

Overall it was another good film in a strong stable of works by M. Night Shyamalan. Strong performances by Paul Giamatti, M. Night Shaymalan, and Bryce Dallas Howard in her first lead or second if you count how she stole the movie from Joaquin Phoenix in “The Village”. It has a stirring “bedtime” story for adults as while as M. Night Shyamalan’s children.

I give it 4/5 Gs.

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