Lady In The Water
Stars: Paul Giamatti
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
**** (out of five)
M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady In The Water is a film only he could have made, because I suspect only he knows what it means.
This is not necessarily a bad thing: It’s lyrical, it’s shocking, it’s crystal clear and incomprehensible, often at the same time. But there’s something compelling about it right up until the credits roll; one can dismiss it as muddled, pretentious tripe, and many will, but it’s fascinating.
The movie centres on a man named Cleveland Heep, the superintendent of a Philadelphia apartment complex (played with wonderful vulnerability by Paul Giamatti), who discovers a narf (played with blank, staring gravitas by Bryce Dallas Howard) in the swimming pool one night. The narf is there to do something important, but she’s also being stalked by a deadly scrunt, and Cleveland’s need to protect her draws him into his tenants’ lives, and into something far larger as well.