By Megan Bianco
One of the more unexpected nominations this award season is Naomi Watts for Best Actress for The Impossible. Though not as talked about as co-nominees Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain, Watts still delivers a grueling physical performance and deserves the recognition she’s been receiving, as is the rest of Juan Antonio Bayona’s cinematic recounting of the Thailand tsunami in 2004.
Based on a real horrific episode of a Spanish family (changed to English on film), The Impossible begins with a family of five who travel to East Asia for the holidays and stay at a beachside resort for the vacation. Only a day later, the biggest tsunami ever recorded hits land and separates the mother (Watts) and oldest son (Tom Holland) from the father (Ewan McGregor) and youngest sons (Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast).
Watts, considered one of the best actresses of her generation, brutally deals with the after effects of the storm in the film, moving viewers to cringe and cry for her. McGregor and Holland’s stories are emotionally heartbreaking as well, though underrated, with McGregor’s performance worthy enough for a Best Supporting Actor nomination he missed out on. The Impossible visually captures and frightens the audience with the real life force of nature, prompting many to thoughts of appreciation for life and loved ones.