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The Trailer For THE IMPOSSIBLE Is Powerful Stuff

Nordling here.

I'm sure people will see the trailer to THE IMPOSSIBLE and dismiss it as Oscar bait.  It certainly has big Oscar moments scattered throughout the trailer, with what are sure-to-be-nominated performances from Ewan McGregor (is it me or does this guy never get any older? He's looked like he's 30 for about 15 years now) and Naomi Watts, and gorgeous cinematography.  The movie also touches on a true-life disaster - the 2004 tsunami that devastated Indonesia amd killed over 230,000 people.  I'm also certain that because the movie casts McGregor and Watts as tourists, that people will say that their characters' story isn't relevant in comparison to the thousands who were displaced from their homes in the tsunami.

But  the people involved behind the camera - Juan Antonio Bayona, the director behind the very very good THE ORPHANAGE, as well as screenwriter Sergio Sanchez - elevate this above typical tragedy-of-the-week stuff.  These are world-class filmmakers and it looks like they've made a film of extraordinary power.  Here's the trailer, and you can see it in HD at Apple:

THE IMPOSSIBLE opens this December.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST


    by theskypatrol

    This is more exploitive than Grindhouse and Machete combined... gross.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    As over 200,000 brown people die all around them...

    by theskypatrol

    five white people rise above the tide in a fight for survival!

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Gosh, I wonder if they'll find each other...

    by chaburchak

    Who makes these trailers, they give away almost everything! I feel like I've pretty much seen the whole movie now.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST

    @theskypatrol - you nailed it

    by georgecauldron

    Are there any movies these days with lead actors who aren't white? Jesus Christ.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:37 p.m. CST

    looks like a combo of the stories told about the tsunami

    by walt

    at least one of the kids should die

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Looks terrible, sorry.

    by FreeBeer

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:43 p.m. CST

    have to agree

    by themovieweasel

    I normally try not to be a hater, but this time I have to agree. Five white people have a bad week while hundreds of thousands of brown people die, and theirs is the story of triumph of the human spirit?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    is there a twist ending? that the two boys and ewan died?

    by walt

    now that would be cool

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    A good tidal wave movie . . .

    by elmo

    That doesn't exploit the tragedy that killed hundreds of thousands (it's fiction) is Korea's Tidal Wave (Haeundae). It's a very good disaster film, refreshing to see one from another country. Worth a check out.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    It's weird how you're using strong words to elevate this movie

    by D o o d

    and all this based on a trailer! Let's not have too much hyperbole and just say that it might be good. Personally, judging from that trailer, it could quite easily be rubbish too!

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 7:58 p.m. CST

    For a while I thought Ewan McGregor wasn't working much...

    by Jaka

    ...then, in a pretty short period of time, I watched Men Who Stare At Goats, Amelia, The Ghost Writer, Beginners and Perfect Sense. After watching Perfect Sense, which is currently the movie I'm forcing as many people to watch as possible, I realized the guy is not only working, but doing the best stuff of his career. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen wasn't quite as good as I was expecting, and this heart string stuff (The Impossible) is usually not my thing, but damn if Ewan McGregor isn't a fine actor.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Jesus Christ, this is some cynical shit

    by NoQuarter

    Hundreds of thousands are people are killed; countless others have their homes and livelihoods literally wiped away...and they make a movie about white, affluent tourists? Even if this movie is only half as offensive as it sounds, I will never, ever pay money to see it.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    The sky patrol-nails it. 'Nuff said.

    by Cedric Ford

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Someone in that family better die....

    by Brooks

    at the end.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Counterpoint: Drop the hate


    its a true story. just cos there was a family of white pps with their own story in the disaster does that mean we're never allowed to tell that story? cos there were more people who weren't white? this doesn't seem like a definitive take on this disaster just zooming in on one story. i agree the trailer is overly optimistic which rubs a bit wrong with the overall horror, but if you've seen the orphanage, i trust the director to bring the honest horror of a situation without insulting. until proven otherwise.

  • Sad, but true... that said, fuck you if you think that this wouldn't have been tragic for ANY family caught up in this event. Even white, middle class westerners - whom this film is likely aimed at. I thought it felt like a pretty powerful trailer - maybe because I have two young boys and its easy to put myself in the characters' shoes.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST

    looks great, fuck you snakey bitchrags!

    by Lostboytejas


  • And they may be right, unfortunately. It would be interested to see how this movie would do here if told through the eyes of the indigenous folk. You KNOW it would wind up playing mostly in art house theaters instead of AMC and Regal. Speaking of which, everybody go see the film Intouchables. One of the best films I've seen in a LONG time!!!!

  • its an amalgam of the stories of the survivors

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST

    So the trailer basically showed us the entire movie.

    by Badger23

    I now know exactly what happens and how it ends.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Why not make up a fictional tsunami?

    by Silv

    At least it wouldn't feel like such blatant pandering.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Those poor...

    by Dead_Geek

    ... white people.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:44 p.m. CST

    People need to chill...

    by wrongThinker

    Hollywood knows that white people in lead rolls aren't necessary to sell films. Will Smith is more bankable than Tom Cruise, for crying out loud, and Hollywood knows it. Some exec heard this story and thought it was inspiring. Five people surviving a tragic natural holocaust sounds pretty damn inspiring to me. All of you who find a story about people surviving such a situation NOT inspiring because of the color of their skin need to go in the mirror to look at the racist staring back at you.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

    I think Slumdog Millionaire was an exception to the rule. There will always be exceptions, but by and large I think I'm right. I'm not trying to be a troll, or be hateful. It's just the way I see it. I wonder how well Slumdog DID in Middle America, by the way? I bet its popularity came from larger Metropolitan areas, and not Idaho.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    elevate this above typical tragedy-of-the-week stuff

    by Player01

    W. T. F. This event was more than 'tragedy of the week', Nordling you asshole. This event KILLED OVER 200,000 PEOPLE. Way to be disrespectful to just about all of Indonesia, and SE Asia. Fucking hell. I know you're just a movie reviewer but have some professionalism and respect for all the people whose lives were irrevocably changed only a decade ago.

  • So the white nerds can relate to someone. You know someone suggested that in a meeting more than likely.

  • Is that once the two beautiful white people reconnect with the three beautiful white people they get to get on a plane and fly back to fucking London or Scotland where you know they have a house with a pool while hundreds of thousands of other people's lives are permanently changed.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    What was the consensus when Matt Damon did "Hereafter" in 2010?

    by Adam Jones

    When I saw this trailer, I thought that it was another trailer for "Hereafter" and then thought it was odd Matt Damon wasn't in it. Then I realized this is a completely different movie.... based on the same event. Anyhow, was their this much criticism of Matts' movie when it came out? Him being white and most the cast being white? Seems no one is ever happy with anything anymore. Were all clamoring for something new and different and when we get it, we still find something to bitch and moan about. Ewan and Naomi are great actors. They bring to the screen what many actors fail to do, realism, belief, compassion. Give them and the movie a chance before you fall back to your vile sour jaded attitude about life and everything that is miserable about yours. P.S. Yes, I agree with #chaburchak, that the trailer shows too much like most trailers do now. Not gonna rant about it but I too, do wish movie executives that approve these trailers get a clue and find actual talented people to put them together to entice people into going to the theater rather then watch the whole movie in a 2 min Cliff Notes trailer.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    i've heard this bayona guy is racist as hell.

    by julia

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Manipulative garbage

    by Nervous Energy

    I try my best to give the benefit of the doubt but the tsunami being told from this perspective is blatantly offensive and means so much less because of it.

  • Otherwise they wouldn't have even been able to make a movie.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    For Fuck's Sake

    by brad negrotto

    Every movie is manipulative! I wonder what would happen if people took all the energy the put into bitching into making the world a better place? How about bitch to your representatives in the government for a start.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Nothing is more powerful...

    by jimmy_009

    As soon as I read that I knew the next part would be "...the human spirit." It's time to fire every trailer and poster maker in Hollywood and start fresh.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST

    If Ewan is nominated...

    by SunTzu77

    It should be for "Salmon Fishing in Yemen" and not this disaster flick.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    this thread is cranky

    by gaygoonie

    take a nap.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by Queefer Sutherland

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz

    by Queefer Sutherland

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    My teeth hurt watching that

    by AlibyebyeEssmob

    So saccharine it made me ill. What an insult this film looks to be.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I'm finding it hard NOT to look at it as Oscar bait.

    by Bill C.

    Which isn't Ewan or Naomi's fault, they're fine--it's just the whole sugary "Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit" thing, which conveniently is punctuated by one of their precocious little kids apparently wandering through this mess and talking to/helping people. It's entirely possible the studio marketing flacks are responsible for it, but the trailer seems to be trying far too hard to say "Look, pretty Brits keeping calm--okay, mostly calm--and carrying on in the face of DISASTER!" <sigh> Move over, queefer, I need some nap space.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    And yes, theskypatrol is dead on

    by AlibyebyeEssmob

    This is some seriously grim stuff. Hundreds of thousands of non-whites die, the survivors lives are changed forever, and we get a crap film about rich tourists who made it out okay but they did get a bit wet for a while there. Go to hell, The Impossible.

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Oscar-bait is right.

    by Royston Lodge

    Is there one moment in this movie not given away by the trailer?

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    The twist ending includes the Cloverfield monster.

    by Royston Lodge

    Now THAT's a movie I'd go see!

  • Aug. 20, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Obviously it's only a trailer but Ewan looks to be really good in this..

    by moonlightdrive

    think this could an Oscar nomination for him. I'm not really a fan of his though, especially when he does his American accent.

  • That story would not have gotten as much attention had she not been a beautiful, famous, European celebrity. That's how it goes

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Nordling fuels the "White Guilt/Self Loathing"... ya'll cray

    by entrainer

    I'm also certain that because the movie casts McGregor and Watts as tourists, that people will say that their characters' story isn't relevant in comparison to the thousands who were displaced from their homes in the tsunami

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:29 a.m. CST

    The poster looks great.

    by bthree78 I think skypatrol should be in on the marketing for the film.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by theskypatrol

    If they use that awesome poster, I'll make sure we both get royalties. If Warner Brothers can profit from this tragedy, so should we!!!

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:11 a.m. CST


    by Matthew

    most of American/ English speaking people are white, therefore movies are made for that audience. Go ask Lucas about Red Tails. That being said Paul Mooney said it best "Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise, The Mexican staring Brad Pitt, what next the Last Nigger on Earth starring Tom Hanks" Also I am Polish so I have John Krasinski and meat head from All in the Family, oh I forgot Bob Golub too

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Could somebody please tell the studio...

    by DarthNotVeryNice

    ... I don't want to see all three acts in the fucking trailer. Why would I go? I just saw the fucking movie.

  • Im sure it'll be like Titanic with some wanker reading the diary he found floating in the water...and reunites it with the family at the end. Hollywood have no shame. It actually made me cringe. Fuck this film.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST


    by Autodidact

    I can't stand movies with trailers like this.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    They already did this at the beginning of hearafter

    by and

    even if the rest of the movie was shit they showed a tsunami or title wave ripping shit up and tearing people apart in a movie recently the first 15 or so minutes of hearafter was awesome and the first 15 of this probably will be too and then shit after that oh and ewan mgregor is a fucking awful actor


  • Aug. 21, 2012, 7:47 a.m. CST

    and heres the hereafter scene too why not

    by and

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Great documentary on the tsunami:

    by KGB3317 it is intense and horrific. You might or might not take a new view on the trailer.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Don't care I'll watch anything that obi wan is in.

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    God, I hate you morons sometimes

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    actually, almost ALL of the time. So, what, are white people the acceptable ones to trash now? Is that it? If something happens to you, and it happens to be a powerful story, don't bother telling it if you are white? Even if it happens in an area that may have been populated and hard hit by people of a different color? The hilarious thing is, all of you brain dead idiots screaming about white people this and white people that, you are the racists. Do you microcephalic ants even know how to look in a mirror, or do you possess any self-awareness AT ALL? I thought the goal of all of you patchiouli-wearing utopians was to have everyone be color blind. But no, you have embraced hatred of specific races in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY that you scream about. The gall. Not only are you racists, but you are incredible hypocrites too.

  • I'm a father of two boys, and a skeptic of corporate marketing, and this still made me tear up a little, imagining what being in that situation would be like. It was also nice to see McGregor not having to ape some American or English accent, too. Does any of this make it a good film? None of us know. But it's fair ground to cover.

  • The setup was more than compelling enough! They had tons of affecting, grabbing imagery already, without having to show any kind of resolution. None! Why go the extra step and start showing snippets of late-movie images? You've got a killer setup, gorgeous-looking film, great presentation, then you just keep going further than you need to and give away too much. I suspect the whole thing hasn't been given away, but that any of it has is UNNECESSARY! What is it with film marketing these days? Studios can't even score when given an easy ball to carry and an open field.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 11 a.m. CST

    Ewan McGregor is box office poison.

    by Jason

    Ewan McGregor is box office poison.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Gosh, too white?

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Yup Nero, this thread is full of retards. You want some nice black and brown protagonists? Watch the amazing TV film Tsunami: The Aftermath, with the most unwhite Chiwetel Ejofor, and the very brown Sophie Okonedo. It does have Tim Roth in it, so us whiteys can relate to someone. If you cant get your heads around why a film made by Westerners has westeners as the main family, then you should stop reproducing and do the gene pool a favour. Have you even checked the Indian, Thai, and Indonesian tv films on the subject? The world is full of stupid people. Thank god, I'm not one of them.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST



    You beat me to it. I think i'm gonna stop watching trailers, some are so badly put together that you dont need to watch the film. On a similar note TV trailers that are on for 10 seconds try to fit so much in that you end up not even knowing what the film is about.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST

    They're All Allready Dead

    by tailhook

    And trying to find themselves in Purgatory so that they can move on.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST


    by eROKv

    white folks are immune to tsunami attacks

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST


    by theskypatrol

    your grandiloquent rant, wondrous in it's splendour and glory, congruent and harmonius, having exposed these denizens of AICN as xenophobic malingerers, and casting light upon the smallness of our skulls, shall forevermore be known as fucking retarded

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Compared to Beasts of the Southern Wild...

    by fattyaaron

    this looks like hot garbage smells.

  • Aug. 21, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    It's not racist

    by Hipshot

    To note that white people want to see themselves, unless one suggests that black and brown or yellow people don't have the same urge. a common Conservative meme is to say that noticing racism or tribalism makes you as bad as the problem you've pointed out. Nonsense.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST


    by Angus Gore

    All points are taken, here's the facts: 1. Not all Americans are pig-headed racists who just 'want to see their own kind.' 2. Where were you when James Cameron undermined the dead of Titanic by writing in a fake love story? Tsk. You'd think we like our history rewritten just to sell tickets. The gall. Really. 3. When they make a film about the Fukushima disaster, will they cast George Clooney as the well-to-do tourist on leave from his Naval command to help save lives, only to fall in love with a pretty Japanese girl whom he impregnates then abandons? The child turns up, years later (after his mother has died, eating radiation-spiked rice) and, in spite of his many deformities, is raised by Clooney and his wife. Well, would it really surprise you?

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    The movie should have been about the guy that was banging Petra Nemcova.

    by SergeantStedenko

    One day, you're King of the World, tapping one of the hottest pieces of ass in the world. And the next day you're washed out to sea. Now, that's drama!

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST


    by carlotta_valdes

    ...I guess from Hollywood's standpoint the plight of the white tourists far outweigh in interest, those of the many local people who suffered. ...more bankable too. I feel sad about this story for the wrong reasons.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    re: whitewashing (apologists on this site)

    by Playkins

    This is a western made movie aimed at a western audience made up predominantly of- you guessed it- white people. The point of a movie like this is a cast that the majority of the audience can relate to. Seems to me that the Asian market has a fairly large film industry and I doubt very much they complain that they don't see enough white antagonists in their films. Get a brain, the cast is hardly innappropriate.

  • Aug. 22, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Effing autocorrect.. PROTAGONISTS

    by Playkins