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Now in our sixth calendar year!
PCR # 257  (Vol. 6, No. 8)  This edition is for the week of February 21--27, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Sea Inside"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three and a half stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

A Case of Microwave Mayhem or Misinformation in Northwest Florida? Part 1 of 2  by William Moriaty
"The Sea Inside"
 by Mike Smith
"Filthy" and other Indie Filmmakers at MegaCon - Booth #721....Back, and Better Than Ever....Dr. Paul Bearer - 10 Year Oddservance
 by Andy Lalino
Miracle Turns 25....Oscar Predictions and Comments....Fear and Loathing No More....Speaking of Drugs....On To MegaCon
 by Brandon Jones
Constantine....Comics: Tom Strong
 by John Lewis
The 100,000 Club....Masters of Horror Back on Track....Rondo Winners Announced....Oscar Picks
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Attention Must Be Paid....Also Moving On....Last Hint....Next Week....Jaws: The Story, Part 7
 by Mike Smith
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Fine Line Features     
Starring: Javier Bardem, Belen Rueda, and Lola Duenas
Directed by: Alejandro Amenabar
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 7 minutes

In Spanish with English Subtitles

With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, the film I predict will win the Best Foreign Language Film award is going into wider release. And a great film it is.

The Sea Inside is based on the true story of Ramon Sampedro (Bardem). Injured as a young man in a diving accident and left a quadriplegic, Sampedro made headlines when he requested permission from the Spanish government to end his own life. As his request is slowly made public, he finds himself surrounded by a small circle of friends determined to help him change his mind. He is asked by one why, even in his condition, he is always smiling. He explains that when you have to depend on others for everything you learn to even cry with a smile. Though he feels his life leaves him with "no dignity," Ramon finds pleasure in his dreams. Though he was injured in a dive, his visions are often filled with the romance and joy he found on the beach. In his mind he can still feel the sand under his feet and the water splashing on his skin. As he sees his fight with the government not going as he hoped, he finds a special peace in his dreams that ultimately help him make his final decision.

A film with such a tragic victim at its center is often over-dramatic in its telling. That is not the case here. And the credit must go to director Amenabar and star Bardem. Amenabar's camera moves with a grace and beauty that only complements the dreams Ramon experiences. He is able to pull heartfelt, but genuine, performances from the entire cast. The standout in the cast here is Bardem. His matinee idol looks almost completely stripped away, having only his voice and face to convey his thoughts, Bardem turns in a performance that, in any other year, surely would have garnered a Best Actor nomination. That Bardem, like "Sideways'" Paul Giamatti, didn't make the short list is a testament to the great performances turned in this year.

The Sea Inside is a film that takes you on an emotional ride that rises and falls like the ocean's wave. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give The Sea Inside  Three and a half stars

This week's movie review of "The Sea Inside" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.