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THE WEIGHT OF WATER

Two sexally tense couples aboard a pleasure craft off the New Hampshire coast are whipped about by hurricane winds and become mysteriously entwined with figures involved in a grotesque murder that took place over a century ago.


CAST: Sean Penn, Sarah Polley, Catherine McCormack, Josh Lucas, Elizabeth Hurley, Ciran Hinds, Katrin Cartlidge, Vinessa Shaw, Ulrich Thomsen, Anders W. Berthelsen

DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow

"'The Weight of Water' tells two stories of family jealousy, separated by more than a century and heightened by lurid melodrama, bloody murder, incest and storms at sea...We don't feel the connection, and every jump in time is a distraction...The actors are splendid, especially Sarah Polley and Sean Penn, but we never feel confident that these two plots fit together, belong together, or work together." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"There is so much to admire in 'The Weight of Water,' Kathryn Bigelow's churning screen adaptation of a novel by Anita Shreve, that when the movie finally collapses on itself late in the game, it leaves you in the frustrating position of having to pick up its scattered pieces and assemble them as best you can. Those pieces are flung into the air during the movie's grand finale, an orgiastic rush of blood and water that folds together the film's two parallel stories...Although those stories are supposed to bounce off each other in stimulating ways, they never mesh." -- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Awkwardly framed by two separate narrative strands, the film combines a 19th century true-crime mystery with the unraveling of a contemporary marriage...if the past quivers to tepid life, there's simply no saving the present-day drama, which, despite the attractive presence of McCormack and Lucas, is overwhelmed by Penn and Hurley's dueling histrionics. Scowling his way forward and aft, Penn's swaggering macho genius is as dated as his Elvis pompadour and only slightly less silly than Hurley's strenuous vamping, which finds her alternately melting ice cubes over her overheated body and lustily slurping on lobster legs." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"Action director Kathryn Bigelow turns her hand to unhurried psychodrama but, apart from her evocative visual stylings, the film never matches the lyricism of its title... Adding a distracting element of soft-core porn, Hurley's character flirts shamelessly... sucking suggestively on crab claws and rubbing ice cubes over her nipples as she sunbathes topless on the deck...Polley, a fine actress, provides the emotional flash point, but most of the other actors, particularly a very subdued Penn, fade into the scenery." -- Megan Turner, The New York Post

"The present crashes on the rocks of the past in ‘The Weight of Water,’ Kathryn Bigelow's musky, roiling adaptation of Anita Shreve's novel about elementally destructive sexual jealousy. And the movie maneuvers skillfully through the plot's hot brine--until it's undone by the sogginess of its contemporary characters, and actors…in the heaving cross-century swirl of the climax, ‘Weight’ makes its point: Jealousy is timeless; Hurley is not." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Kathryn Bigelow seems a strange choice to direct this intimate drama... But she locates the violent undercurrent of [Anita] Shreve's more decorously told story...The book has been altered in mostly reasonable ways to suit the needs of the screen, but what it loses in the translation is invaluable in comprehending what led someone to pick up an ax and wipe out two-thirds of an island's population." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News