The Weight of Water Movie Review

Like Possession, The Weight of Water tries to tie together a period romance and a modern-day one, held together by ancient letters calling out from the past. Like Possession, this fails to work well, as the link between now and then is relatively meaningless.

In the present day, our heroine (the dour Catherine McCormack) asks her brother (Josh Lucas) to sail her to an island off the coast of New Hampshire in order to take pictures of the site of an ancient murder for some photography assignment. Already dubious (I've seen few magazine spreads that feature only grass and rocks), the story gets iffier when her "famous poet" husband (Sean Penn) and bro's girlfriend (Elizabeth Hurley) tag along on the trip.

It soon becomes apparent that the troubled McCormack is somehow connected to the young immigrant Maren (Sarah Polley), who witnessed the murder of two of her friends and testified to the crime in the 1800s. Or did she? McCormack plays Nancy Drew through reading old letters on the boat -- something she ostensibly could have done in the comfort of her living room, away from the Big Storm that threatens to kill the foursome.

Despite an impressive roster of stars and direction from Kathryn Bigelow, The Weight of Water is oppressively heavy. The present-day story is tepid and tries to make Hurley the sexual center of things, a stillborn idea that dies after 15 minutes. McCormack's obsession with the ruins on the island is just silly, as she demands to be taken back to shoot pictures there repeatedly ("But it's night!" "The murders took place at night.")

The story from the past doesn't fare much better, torn asunder by Polley's unbearably phoney yet soft-spoken accent. The Big Mystery is unraveled before the film is halfway through. We must only wait for it to be re-enacted to get to the merciful credits.


Comments

The Weight of Water Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2000

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