The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water

Director: Kathryn Bigelow Cast: Catherine McCormack, Sarah Polley, Sean Penn
3.5 2

DVD (Wide Screen)

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The Weight of Water

A woman studying a crime of the past finds her own life becoming a morass of suspicion and deceit in this drama based on the novel by Anita Shreve. Jean Janes (Catherine McCormack) is a photographer working on a project that would document surviving evidence of a multiple murder that occurred a hundred years ago -- when a man named Louis Wagner (Ciaran Hinds) brutally killed two immigrant women from Norway with an axe, only to discover a third, Maren Hontvedt (Sarah Polley), witnessed the mayhem and survived to identify him in court. Jean travels to the small New Hampshire coastal town where the killings occurred with her husband Thomas (Sean Penn), an award-winning poet; his brother Rich (Josh Lucas); and Rich's girlfriend Adaline (Elizabeth Hurley). As Jean digs deeper into the troubling facts of the long-ago murder, as well as the tangential details of Maren Honvedt's unhappy marriage to John Hontvedt (Ulrich Thomsen) and her incestuous affair with her brother Evan (Anders W. Berthelsen), Jean begins to believe that she has a crisis of her own to contend with: she is convinced Thomas is having an affair with Adaline. The Weight of Water also features Katrin Cartlidge as Maren's sister Karen and Vinessa Shaw as her sister-in-law Anethe.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/04/2003
UPC: 0658149809727
Original Release: 2000
Rating: R
Source: Lions Gate
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:53:00
Sales rank: 37,308

Special Features

Closed Caption; 16x9 widescreen; 5.1 Dolby Digital; Trailer; Scene access; Interactive menus; English & Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine McCormack Jean Janes
Sarah Polley Maren Hontvedt
Sean Penn Thomas Janes
Josh Lucas Rich Janes
Elizabeth Hurley Adaline Gunne
Ciarán Hinds Louis Wagner
Ulrich Thomsen John Hontvedt
Anders W. Berthelsen Evan Christenson
Katrin Cartlidge Karen Christenson
Vinessa Shaw Anethe Christenson

Technical Credits
Kathryn Bigelow Director
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
Alice Arlen Screenwriter
Adrian Biddle Cinematographer
Mali Finn Casting
Lisa Henson Executive Producer
David Hirschfelder Score Composer
A. Kitman Ho Producer
Steven Charles Jaffe Executive Producer
Karl Juliusson Production Designer
Tod A. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis L. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Smith Sound Mixer
Mike Smith Sound Mixer
Sigurjon Sighvatsson Producer
Howard E. Smith Editor
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Janet Yang Producer
Christopher Zimmer Co-producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Tragedy [4:45]
2. A Little Tired [4:55]
3. Two Women [4:29]
4. Great Themes [4:19]
5. Opportunity [4:35]
6. Industry [4:57]
7. Long Term [5:16]
8. Coming to America [5:05]
9. Strong Hands [5:13]
10. Right Guy [6:08]
11. Dance [6:04]
12. Statement [7:18]
13. So Good [4:30]
14. Time Away [4:56]
15. Poetry [4:08]
16. Ludicrous [4:35]
17. Fever [4:46]
18. Hang On [4:44]
19. Wind [2:27]
20. Take the Wheel [3:15]
21. Sorry [2:54]
22. Flee [5:06]
23. Total Knowledge [5:16]
24. Credits [4:19]

Customer Reviews

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3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say this movie is beautiful with outstanding performance, mostly by Catherine McCormack and Sarah Polley. However, the plot is slow moving and the ending of the modern day story leaves too many unanswered questions. Perhaps the book would provide a more enriching ending but since I have yet to read it I cannot be sure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm absolutely shocked that the critical reaction to this movie has been so negative. I was overwhelmed by ‘The Weight of Water.’ I guess part of the problem is that the ad campaign seems to have presented it as a thriller, which it's not. It's also not a mystery or a love story. It's a slow-paced, decidedly downbeat look at two women who are trapped in loveless relationships. Basically, it consists of two parts, a modern-day part and a historical part, set in the 19th century. The 19th century part shows promise and actually gives a pretty interesting view of how a mysterious double murder took place, but ultimately it's underdeveloped and I’ll have to admit is a bit slow. However, compared to the modern-day part, the 19th century part is sort of Oscar material. But as you watch this film you will notice that the modern-day part seems to rely on two major things: Liz Hurley's breasts and some endlessly drawn out shots and quasi-philosophical conversations which really don’t have much of a storyline. Kathryn Bigelow's direction is masterful. She uses images and sounds to express the powerful passions which the two main characters feel but can't express themselves. She gets excellent performances out of the entire cast, but Sarah Polley is especially fine. I'm sure the fact that none of the characters are sympathetic (at least not in the usual sense) is one of the reasons people aren't responding to the film. Bigelow isn't telling a simple story here, and she doesn't want to manipulate the audience by trotting out the usual clichés. This is a complicated movie about how complicated love really is. I haven't read Anita Shreves's novel, but I'd like to. I imagine Bigelow was attracted to it because it offered a blunt, unsentimental look at relationships. ‘The Weight of Water’ is not a conventional Hollywood entertainment. If you're open to it, if you throw away your preconceptions, you may be surprised at where this film takes you.