Lady in the Water
2006
When apartment building manager Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) discovers a water nymph (Bryce Dallas Howard) residing in the complex's swimming pool, he rearranges his life to help her return to her mythical home. But if he fails, it may mean the end for her world -- and for his. Helmed by Oscar-nominated director M. Night Shyamalan, this unconventional bedtime story was first conceived as a fable for his children.

Scott Hardie: “It sucked.”

M. Night Shyamalan has quite a chip on his shoulder. A victim of overnight success with The Sixth Sense and its famous twist ending, his earnest and more thoughtful followups like Unbreakable, Signs and especially The Village were booed for their gimmicks of "twist endings" that weren't twists at all, but integral parts of the story, as audiences missed the points he was trying to make. A turning point in his diminishing career, Lady in the Water indicates that he has become so bitter that he now thumbs his nose at audiences by giving them a boring, half-developed children's fable in the name of entertainment, hates critics by having one eviscerated by a monster as he declares it unrealistic, and considers himself a unheralded storytelling genius as evinced by his representative in the film, a raging egotist of a writer who could change the world for the better if everyone would just take him seriously. Shyamalan has clearly touch with a lot of things, first and foremost what makes an interesting story that carries your interest from scene to scene. From any other writer-director, this film would merely be a misbegotten mess, but from Shyamalan it shows how a modestly talented filmmaker can ruin himself by believing his own hype.

− April 9, 2008 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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