The Weight of Water

Blaine Kyllo

I really want to love Kathryn Bigelow films. She’s a talented director and has never failed to take on challenging projects. My problem with her directing is that she is often heavy-handed in her treatment of material. Her film The Weight of Water, just released on DVD (TVA/Lion’s Gate) is no exception. Based on Anita Shreve’s novel of the same name, it is about an editorial photographer who investigates a century-old murder of two women and experiences strange parallels in her own life. The best thing this film has going for it are two exceptional performances, by Sarah Polley, who pulls off an excellent Norwegian immigrant accent, and Sean Penn, whose drunken poet is almost too real (his recitation of Dylan Thomas’s work almost makes the movie worth seeing). But overall, the film is melodramatic and, well, heavy-handed. The DVD has no special features to speak of, which is unfortunate—I’d love to hear a commentary track from Bigelow.

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