The end of the year has a way of bringing out the worst in some of us. Families get together for the holidays in the name of tradition that sometimes becomes onerous obligation. Often the anxiety starts weeks before, until it climaxes over the giblets, gravy and pumpkin pie, as heartburn and gall deck the halls.
But there’s a movie debuting in the U.S. this December 21 that will give any viewer some perspective on real family problems and an attitude of gratitude. “The Impossible” recreates the gripping, real-world drama of a family that survived the 2004 South Asian tsunami. That’s right, it’s based on the true story of two parents and their three sons who miraculously escape sheer obliteration and savage evisceration at the hands of a most merciless and unpredictable natural enemy. Eight years ago, an undersea earthquake triggered an Indian Ocean tidal wave that wiped out communities in 14 nations and killed over 200,000 people the day after Christmas.
Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and three handsome and remarkably talented lads deliver riveting performances in depicting the Owens family, the quintet that vacationed in Thailand, only to endure the massive waves that suddenly swelled to 30 meters. The special effects are beyond realistic, the sound design mesmerizing and the search to reunite the scattered family is one of Biblical proportions.
The studio, Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate Company, sent me an advance review copy of the film for the purpose of voting on upcoming Hollywood movie awards. On the heels of Hurricane Sandy, this true story makes an especially powerful and poignant impact and underscores just how fragile life is and how blessed we are every day we evade tragedy.
So, when any of your relatives says or does something thoughtless this Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other time, be grateful you’re alive to endure their company and appreciate the qualities that make them unique.
Savor every moment, whether rare or burnt to a crisp. Happy Holidays.