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The Weight of Water

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
The Weight of Water
from Film Forum, 11/07/02

The Weight of Water is an adaptation of a highly praised novel by Anita Shreve. The story follows a photographer determined to solve an 1873 double murder case. Her investigation is disrupted by her suspicions that her spouse is having an affair. Director Kathryn Bigelow (K-19: The Widowmaker) has a strong cast, including Sean Penn (Sam I Am), Catherine McCormack (Spy Game), Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter), Elizabeth Hurley (Bedazzled), and Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama), but critics are not impressed with the results.

Gerri Pare (Catholic News) says, "Bigelow's murky drama continually crosscuts between the past crime and the present investigation as the twin narratives proceed to their violent conclusions. As the characters in the contemporary story don't have a lot to say, and the fact-based 19th-century tale is one-note grim and gloomy, the movie isn't terribly satisfying."

Movieguide's critic calls it "a riveting tale, beautifully filmed and cleverly crafted." But the reviewer condemns the film because it "seems to argue that Christianity is repressive and, therefore, dangerous."