In the Dark

Love, War, and Other Misunderstandings

In the Bedroom
Produced by Good Machine and GreeneStreet Films Inc.
Directed by Todd Field
Screenplay by Robert Festinger from a story by Andre Dubus
Released by Good Machine and Miramax Films

Blackhawk Down
Produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation and Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by Ken Nolan and Mark Bowden
Released by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment

In the Bedroom is first-time director Todd Field’s adaptation of Andre Dubus’ short story “Killings.”  Although the film has received almost universal praise, I found it oddly purblind to Dubus’ intentions and, consequently, unconvincing.

Dubus wrote his narrative from the point of view of Matt Fowler, a village storekeeper, whose life unravels when his 21-year-old son is murdered.  Without overtly moralizing, the story considers the lives of ordinary people who slip into disaster by doing and permitting what comes all too naturally.

While home for the summer between college and graduate school, Matt’s son Frank falls in with Natalie, a woman four years his elder.  Separated from her abusive husband, she has two sons to rear and finds in Frank a man patient and gentle enough both to romance and to comfort her.  He even helps her take care of...

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