Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water (Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bob Balaban, M. Night Shyamalan) – This was far from the movie I expected to see, but it was well worth the watch as Shyamalan teams with a complex character played by Paul Giamatti, whose hidden past explains his current behavior.  Funnier than you would have expected, the plot centers on the plight of the lady found in the water (Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard) who scavenges for items left over by the residents of a housing complex where Giamatti is the building manager/handyman.  She emerges earlier in the movie than you’d think and then, through her clairvoyance and mystery, helps lead the residents to finding the clues that will set her free.  This film is not Shyamalan’s best by any means (Sixth Sense is), but it’s better than The Village, in which he also cast Howard.  The characterizations are dead-perfect, not only from the two principals, but also by veterans Balaban (who plays a playwright who understands plots all too well and who serves as comic relief) and Shyamalan himself.  The director often casts himself in his films but serves up a juicy role in this one.  In some ways, this film reminds me more of Cocoon (which Ron Howard directed in 1985) than Shyamalan’s Signs, both from which it borrows.  I hope that’s enough to get you to go see this, if for nothing else than to enjoy Giamatti.

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