The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy's mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug ... See full summary »
After the death of her husband, the mother of Julie, Jack, Sue and Tom begins to suffer from a mysterious illness. Aware that she is going to have to go into hospital she opens a bank ... See full summary »
A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While ... See full summary »
Guilherme and Sofia, brother and sister, grow up sharing experiences and slowly discovering their sexuality. The thing that Sofia doesn't know is how far Guilherme will go to keep her inside his own perverse, dark and perfect circle.
Joana de Verona
After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie, who is now married. The relationship between Richard and Natalie proves dangerously obsessional. ... See full summary »
After several years without contact, Martijn visits his sister Daantje, who just started to live on her own in Amsterdam. He tells her he is going to make a documentary from her life, and ... See full summary »
A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him... See full summary »
After not having seen each other in five years, Chris Terry goes to visit his younger sister Noelle Terry in Montréal. Their lives, both together and apart, have been turbulent ones with ... See full summary »
Living in the rural Texas panhandle is a dysfunctional family: an abusive dad, a Vietnam vet with a war wound that's left him impotent; a compliant wife and a son of about 20, who have an ... See full summary »
Tom (Freddie Cunliffe), an alienated 15 year old boy, finds the that opportunity for close observation of his father, after their move from London to rural Devon and the birth of a new baby, reveals a world run through with darkness and pain. Tom is unable to reconcile the life he's known what he sees with his own eyes, and blames his 18 year old sister, Jessie (Lara Belmont). Both Tom and Jessie struggle to find some path to truth and sanity as the human forces around them work in polarity with their isolation to either assist them, or destroy them. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
A newly updated and fully revised 20th Anniversary Edition of The War Zone (novel) was published in 2009, including both the original British and American opening chapters, an afterword by Tim Roth and a Diary of the Making of the Film by Alexander Stuart. See more »
Tim Roth as director delivers a drama with the kind of gut-wrenching family story that happens only so often in the movies; not even Todd Field's films, however excellent, come close to The War Zone as being truly insightful into a specific dark corridor of a family slowly ripping itself apart. Part of it is the exceptional naturalistic acting, wherein actors I've never seen before like Lara Belmont and Freddie Cunliffe are subtle in just glances and stares to one another, and when they dig deep into the tragic parts of the story they're revelatory, maybe even more so than Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton. You can't take your eyes off of Cunliffe.
In the War Zone the family is a father, mother, son and daughter, with the mother giving birth to a newborn daughter at the opening of the film. The story, however rightfully thin, concerns the secret that Jessie and Tom holding fragility when Tom sees Jessie and their father in an incestuous act. There's denial, fighting, lots of scorn that grows between the two, while the rift between the son and the family becomes so thick that it could explode at any moment. But what's brilliant about the story, as well as rightfully heartbreaking, is how logically the tragedy unfolds, how the secret soon comes apart and leads into some unexpected scenes (one of which involving self-abuse, the other towards the end, a more conventional but still shocking act of violence).
Roth could be considered purely an actor's director, and he is one first and foremost. But he also is able to convey a profound sense of agony if only with the choice of scenery, of this quiet and dark seaside area and the bunker by the house where the incest takes place (apparently the R-rated version omits some explicit bits, but it doesn't feel compromised and actually helps by showing little), and the shots he films linger as much on the characters as in the viewer's mind. This isn't merely some pretentious decision but a deliberate choice that, somewhat akin to a Bergman picture, emphasizes those crushing beats that are much truer than something more stylish.
With the "unflinching eye", as some other critics have noted, Roth shows us things that make us uncomfortable, but because of this it doesn't lie and that's a great service through art for those who have been afflicted with abuse in families. At the least, it isn't a schlock-TV movie. A+
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?