More often than not, engaging with films is a lot like speed dating for me. I knew within the first few minutes of The Impossible what rating I was going to give it simply based on the sound design and the artful grace in the composition and juxtaposition of images. There was going to be an intense vibe between us that was going to work out. Conversely, I had to force myself to sit through that other deluge film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, after barely making it through the cacophonic, sloppily shot title sequence.
I’ve already ranted about why That Bathtub Movie doesn’t deserve the Oscar nominations it received, which doesn’t mean that The Impossible should have been nominated in its place. The Impossible is, however, on a par with Life of Pi — the big common themes this award season are coincidentally slavery and man’s battle with the sea, certainly more trenchant motifs than toy makers in Paris or Parisian actors in Silent-Era Hollywood, like we had last year.