AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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In the Bedroom
Director: Todd Field (Dir)
Release Date:   25 Dec 2001
Premiere Information:   World premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT: 19 Jan 2001; Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 Nov 2001
Production Date:   Jun 2000
Duration (in mins):   122
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Cast:   Tim Wilkinson (Matt Fowler)  
    Sissy Spacek (Ruth Fowler)  
    Nick Stahl (Frank Fowler)  
    Marisa Tomei (Natalie Strout)  
    William Mapother (Richard Strout)  
    William Wise (Willis Grinnel)  
    Celia Weston (Katie Grinnel)  
    Karen Allen (Marla Keyes)  
    Frank T. Wells (Henry)  
    W. Clapham Murray (Carl)  
    Justin Ashford (Tim)  
    Terry A. Burgess (District Attorney)  
    Jonathan Walsh (Father McCasslin)  
    Diane E. Hamlin (Davis' assistant)  
    Camden Munson (Jason Strout)  
    Christopher Adams (Duncan Strout)  
    Henry Field (Young Frank)  
    Deborah Derecktor (Janelle)  
    Harriet Dawkins (Alma Adamson)  
    Bill Dawkins (Elwyn Adamson)  
    Kevin Chapman (Tim's friend)  
    The Honorable Joseph Field (Judge)  
    Harold Withee (Grocery clerk)  
    David Blair (Marlboro man)  
    Elizabeth McClure (Elderly woman)  
    Alida P. Field (Gymnast)  
    Andrea Walker (Waitress)  
    John Campanello (Reporter)  
    Rob Demkowicz (Reporter)  
    Veronica Cartwright (Minister on television)  
    Daran Norris (Red Sox replay)  
    Don Lewis (Bridge operator)  
    Doug Rich (Fork lift operator)  
    Sara Armstrong (Chorus)  
    Elly Barksdale (Chorus)  
    Erin Barksdale (Chorus)  
    Adah Holman (Chorus)  
    Gwendolyn Gilchrist (Chorus)  
    Shauneen Grout (Chorus)  
    Jessie Lanoue (Chorus)  
    Alicia Laplant (Chorus)  
    Iris Leslie (Chorus)  
    Erica Towle-Powers (Chorus)  
    Nichole Wimbiscus (Chorus)  
    Anna Winsor (Chorus)  
  Rockland T-Ball Lisa Carlton    
    Rebecca Benner    
    Francis Mazzeo    
    Tyler Shane Smith-Campbell    
    Brian Hagley    
    Sam Cousins    
    Jackie Hagley    
    Comenic Cuccinello III    
    Ronald Russell    
    Rachel Freeman    
    Dale Johnson    
    Daniel Hendricks    
    Parker Spear    
    Sam Johnson    
    Henry Field    
    Matthew Maxwell    
    Shyann Gauthier    
    Joshua Mills    
    Bethany Berry    
    Eric Rahkonen    
    Hope Berry    
    Natalie Russell    
    Chelsea Peasley    
    Misty Seekins    
    Daniel Baxter-Leahy    
    Philip Spearing    
    Brandon Carleton    
    Mackenzie Tucker    
    Owen Thompson    
    Ben Staples    
    Ryan Ecker    
    Jared Mekin    

Summary: In the coastal village of Camden, Maine, Frank Fowler spends his last summer before college with his girl friend, the older and soon-to-be divorced Natalie Strout. Frank works part-time on a lobster boat and is frequently accompanied by his father Matt, the town doctor. When Frank takes Natalie’s son Jason out on the boat one day, Matt comes along and teaches Jason about the art of trapping lobsters. A few days later, Matt and his wife, high school choir director Ruth, throw a picnic to help Frank celebrate the birthday of Natalie’s other son Duncan. At the party, Natalie attempts to befriend Ruth, but is interrupted by the arrival of her estranged, abusive husband Richard, the son of the wealthy owner of the large, local fish-processing plant. Uneasy about Richard seeing the familiarity with which his sons treat Frank, Ruth asks Matt if they should intervene, but Matt feels there is no need to interfere. Later that week, Matt goes to the boat looking for Frank, only to recall that his son has a college interview. Arriving at home, Matt is amused and mildly displeased to learn that Frank skipped the interview to meet Natalie. That afternoon at Jason and Duncan’s T-Ball game, when Ruth asks Frank about his interview, he lies, declaring that it went well. When Ruth obliquely expresses her concern about Frank dating Natalie, Frank brusquely assures her their relationship is only a passing summer affair. Later, Natalie arrives home to find that Richard has broken in, claiming to want to give the boys his own T-Ball trophy. When Richard declares his intention to move back in and repair their relationship, Natalie criticizes him for not being involved in their sons’s lives and orders him to leave. An aspiring architect major, Frank begins to vacillate about going to college in the autumn, but when he suggests to Natalie that he might take off a year, she advises circumspection. That same night when Ruth returns home after a choir rehearsal for the Labor Day festival, she is distressed to find Matt treating Frank for a black eye and several cuts. Frank explains that Richard confronted him at Natalie’s, resulting in a brief scuffle. Alarmed, Ruth wants to report the fight to the police, but Frank insists an investigation will only frighten Jason and Duncan. Ruth then angers Frank by demanding that he stop seeing Natalie. In private, however, Matt refuses to agree with Ruth's condemnation of Frank and Natalie's relationship. Several days later, Matt visits Frank at the pier to inquire why he has spent so little time at home. Suspicious that Ruth has sent Matt, Frank chafes at his parents’ expectations and implies that he may continue working on the lobster boat and skip college. That night, however, Frank joins Matt for their usual poker game with a handful of neighbors, including Matt’s best friend, diner owner Willis Grinnel. The players grumble when Matt hesitates over his hand, prompting one of the men, Carl, to recite dour poetry until the game continues. Late that night, Frank rebuffs Ruth’s attempt to discuss Natalie. The next day, Frank is pleased to receive a phone notification of his college acceptance, but the call is interrupted by Jason, who pleads for Frank to come to Natalie’s at once. Frank finds Natalie’s home in shambles because of an angry outburst by Richard, but Natalie fears contacting the police will traumatize the boys. When Frank and Natalie see Richard returning to the house, Frank orders her upstairs then tells Richard he will summon the police, but Richard breaks in through the back door anyway. Upstairs, Natalie and the boys hear the men quarreling, but before Natalie can run downstairs, a gun is fired. Natalie finds Frank lying dead, shot in the face. Matt and Ruth are devastated by Frank’s death and attend his funeral in a daze. Over the next few weeks, the Fowlers fall into private anguish, retreating from each other and their friends. After returning to work, Matt meets Willis at the diner and admits that he and Ruth are unsure about attending Richard’s bail hearing. At the bail and probable cause hearing, Natalie’s testimony contradicts her police statement, revealing that she did not witness the gun’s discharge. Afterward, the district attorney explains to Matt and Ruth that Richard’s wealthy family paid his bail and that his trial will probably not occur for twelve to eighteen months. Ruth is outraged when the lawyer admits that as there was no eyewitness to the killing, Richard will probably be charged only with manslaughter, which would result in a jail sentence of as few as five years. The following day, when Matt visits Natalie at the convenience store in which she works, she struggles to apologize for her damaging testimony. That weekend, Matt and Ruth accompany the Grinnels to their remote cabin upstate. Upon returning to Camden, Ruth resumes preparing the girls’ choir for their Labor Day performance. While visiting Frank’s grave Ruth meets a solicitious Father McCasslin, but she finds his offer of solace empty. Matt returns to his weekly poker game to find his friends strained and uneasy around him, until Carl’s moving recital of an ode to youth breaks the tension. In town, Ruth is disturbed to see Richard walk by arm in arm with a woman, while Matt sails alone sadly. Later, Matt confronts the D.A., insisting that manslaughter is an unacceptable charge, but there is little the lawyer can do to mitigate the circumstances. Later, Matt follows Tim, a friend of Richard’s, to a bar at the edge of town, desperately pleading without success for some information about Richard's actions on the day of the murder. When Natalie goes to see Ruth at the high school to express regret and offer her support, an embittered Ruth slaps her. Stopping for groceries on the way home, Ruth is disturbed to see Richard again. At home, Matt questions Ruth over her apparent anger, but when she scoffs at Matt for belatedly wanting to discuss their grief, a vicious argument ensues. Ruth accuses her husband of being too lenient with Frank and encouraging his affair with Natalie out his own frustrations, while Matt declares that Ruth’s overbearing, controlling nature drove Frank to Natalie. After their outburst, Matt and Ruth are contrite over the harsh words exchanged, then Ruth reveals that she is unnerved by constantly seeing Richard free in town. A few days later, Matt meets Willis and the men discuss the distress and anxiety brought about by the overwhelming sense that Richard will never pay for his crime. Willis wonders if Matt and Ruth have considered leaving Camden, but Matt declares that it would not ease their suffering. On Labor Day, the townspeople gather to hear the girls’ choir, while Matt slips away. Late that night, Matt intercepts Richard closing down the bar, where he now works, and at gunpoint forces him to drive to his apartment. There, the confused Richard tries to explain why he killed Frank, but Matt refuses to listen. Matt orders Richard to jump bail and leave town because he and Ruth cannot bear his presence in Camden. Uneasy about Matt's offer to pay for his flight out of state, Richard nonetheless follows his directive to drive out of town, and is relieved when they arrive at Willis’ remote cabin. Once there however, Matt impulsively shoots and kills Richard, telling the startled Willis that he could not wait to kill Richard together, as they had discussed previously. Matt and Willis wrap up Richard’s body and bury it deep within the forest, then return to Camden just before sunrise. Matt disposes of his dirty clothes, then wearily climbs into bed, where an anxious Ruth asks him, "Did you do it?" 

Production Company: Greenestreet Films  
  Good Machine Productions  
Production Text: A Film by Todd Field
Distribution Company: Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
Director: Todd Field (Dir)
  Dan Stillman (1st asst dir)
  Eric Yellin (2d asst dir)
  Victoria Lang (Asst dir)
  Amanda Slater (Asst dir)
  Aida Rodgers (Asst dir)
Producer: Graham Leader (Prod)
  Ross Katz (Prod)
  Todd Field (Prod)
  Ted Hope (Exec prod)
  John Penotti (Exec prod)
  Tim Williams (Co-prod)
  Stephen Dembitzer (Co-exec prod)
  Penn Sicre (Co-exec prod)
Writer: Rob Festinger (Scr)
  Todd Field (Scr)
Photography: Antonio Calvache (Cine)
  Michael A. Genne (Cam op and 2d unit cine)
  Evans Brown (Gaffer)
  Bill Foyd (Focus puller)
  Brant Fagan (Steadicam op)
  John S. Althoff III (Dolly grip)
  Deborah Lipman (Cam asst)
  Greg Wilmer (Cam asst)
  Erica Colegrove (Cam asst)
  Tim Metivier (Cam asst)
  Woody Bell (Key grip)
  Michael Hadley (Cam grip)
  Scott Herring (Cam grip)
  Mike Rudolph (Cam grip)
  Sean Hadley (Cam grip)
  Robert Colman (Cam grip)
  Amanda Hannan (Cam grip)
  Jason Bowen (Cam grip)
  Shane Reilly (Cam grip)
  John Clifford (Stills photog)
  Dave Cambria (Best boy)
  Brian Pitts (Rigging gaffer)
  Rachelle Franhauser (Elec)
  Jennifer Mears (Elec)
  Anthony D. Norton (Elec)
  Robert Clark (Elec)
  Richard Cardillo (Elec)
  Chris Nickerson (Elec)
  Film Services (Lighting equipment)
  Red Herring (Lighting equipment)
  High Output (Lighting equipment)
  ARRI & Movi-Cam (Cam by)
Film Editor: Frank Reynolds (Film ed)
  Bay View Street Cinema (Film projection)
  The Tools (Editing equipment)
  Boston Connection (Editing equipment)
  Manhattan Transfer (Dailies)
  Heidi Zellner, West Coast Editorial (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Shannon Hart (Sets)
  Raymond Harvie (Rendering artist)
  Jonathan Broadstreet (Rendering artist)
  Jonathan Morse (Rendering artist)
  Tyris Smith (Lead man)
  Joshua Outerbridge (Set dec)
  Kenneth Weinberg (Set dresser)
  Cameron Matheson (Set dresser)
  Matthew Nagle (Set dresser)
  Kirsten Gilg (Set dresser)
  Martin Merritt (Scenics)
  Wilder Oaks (Scenics)
  Terry Goodhue (Const)
  Tim Payson (Prop master)
  Laurie Anne Gardner (Prop asst)
  Meghan Nichols (Art dept asst)
  ABCD Books (Furnishings & paintings by)
  Mark Berghash (Furnishings & paintings by)
  Rockland Maine Antique Market (Furnishings & paintings by)
  Bruce Gamage, Jr. Antiques (Furnishings & paintings by)
  Robert Allen Fabrics (Clothing provided by)
Costumes: Melissa Economy (Cost des)
  Shana Schoepke (Ward mistress)
  Mab Ashforth (Clothing provided by)
  Pratesi of Boston (Clothing provided by)
Music: Thomas Newman (Mus)
  The Newark, Vermont Balkan Girls Chorus (Chorus)
  Evanne Weirich (Chorus dir)
  Robin Wimbiscus (Performance coord)
  Bill Bernstein (Mus ed)
  Jordon Corngold (Asst mus ed)
  Joel Iwataki (Mus scoring mixer)
  Okhee Kim (Asst)
  Thomas Pasatieri (String orch)
  Leslie Morris (Mus contractor)
  Marcy Gensic (Mus contractor)
  Julian Bratolyubov (Mus preparation)
  The Village Recorder (Mus rec/mixed at)
  Todd-A-O Scoring Stage (Mus rec at)
  Joe Gaswirt at Ocean View (Mus mastered by)
Sound: Edward Tise (Sd rec)
  Will Riley (Supv sd ed)
  Chris Jenkins (Re-rec mixer)
  Frank Montano (Re-rec mixer)
  Caleb Snyder (Boom op)
  Mark Narramore (Rec)
  Lisa Varetakis (Sd ed)
  John Roesch, Warner Hollywood (Foley artist)
  Bruce Greenspan (Addl dial ed)
Special Effects: Brian Ricci (Spec eff)
  William Hansard (Process eff)
  William Hansard, Jr. (Process eff)
  William Suhr (Process eff)
  Rod Basham (Digital eff composite artist)
  Clyde Beamer (Digital eff supv)
  Keith Bryant (Digital eff prod)
  Ben Apley (Digital eff coord)
  Kyle Cooper (With support from)
  Chip Houghton (With support from)
  Peter Frankfurt (With support from)
  Imaginary Forces (Main title & composite)
  Title House Digital (Title opticles)
Make Up: Sally Harper (Hair)
  Terri Harper (Makeup)
  Bob Harper (Addl makeup)
Production Misc: Belinda Monte (Casting)
  Randi Hiller (Casting)
  Rachel Carey (Casting asst)
  Mary Feuer (Prod supv)
  Per Melita (Prod supv)
  Anne Nevin (Prod coord)
  Susan Parsons (Asst prod coord)
  Sandy Shapiro (Loc mgr)
  Kathryn Smith (Loc mgr)
  Glenn Mathias (Asst to the dir)
  Keith Crofford (Loc consultant)
  Virginia Saenz McCarthy (Scr supv)
  Serena Rathbun (Spec consult)
  Suzanne Andre III (Defender of the faith)
  Jeb Dubus (Defender of the faith)
  Francie Brown (Dialect coach)
  Mark Schoen (Asst to Ms. Spacek)
  Julia Ziegler-Haynes (Asst to Mr. Wilkinson)
  Melinka Thompson-Godoy (Asst to Mr. Hope)
  Andrew Marcus (Asst to Mr. Penotti)
  Charles Stone Jr. (Lobster consultant)
  Dr. Walter Kerr (Lobster consultant)
  Bobby Kerr (Lobster consultant)
  Roy Allen (Lobster consultant)
  Soso R. Whaley (Deer trainer)
  Sig Libowitz (Prod exec)
  Dee Cooke (Extras casting)
  Adam Carroll (Prod asst)
  Shanon Dilloway (Prod asst)
  Jake Fleming (Prod asst)
  Peter McDonald (Prod asst)
  Zachary Miner (Prod asst)
  Eleda Wacker (Prod asst)
  Gwendolyn Cooper (Prod asst)
  Caitlin Feeley (Prod asst)
  Annie Lynch (Prod asst)
  Elaine McFarland (Prod asst)
  Sebastian Salomo (Prod asst)
  Gregg Molander (Prod asst)
  Julia Ziegler-Haynes (Prod asst)
  Mia Goldman (Editorial consultant)
  Leon Vitali (Tech consultant)
  Ned Price (Tech consultant)
  Nathaniel Mundel (Film runner)
  Paul Bremer (Film runner)
  Tanoa Parks (Prod accountant)
  Tiffany Thomas (Accounting asst)
  John Finn (Post prod accountant)
  Shawn Hamilton (Post prod accounting asst)
  Casey Block (Post prod accounting asst)
  Rockland Ford (Prod vehicles)
  Ivan Stone (ATV)
  Rodney Lynch (Willis' war memorabilia)
  Janice Stone (Katie's snapshots)
  Cathi Dicocco (Caterer)
  Mike Misner (Craft service)
  Camden Country Inn (Cast & crew accomodations)
  Tradewinds Motor Inn (Cast & crew accomodations)
  Camden Accommodations (Cast & crew accomodations)
  Rockland Police Department (Police assistance)
  Knox County Sheriff's Department (Police assistance)
  Lincoln County Sherrif's Department (Police assistance)
  Wiscasset Police Department (Police assistance)
  Maine Highway Patrol (Police assistance)
  Camden-Rockport Police Department (Police assistance)
  Thomaston Police Department (Police assistance)
  Lea Girardin (Maine Film Commision)
  Greg Gadbury (Maine Film Commision)
  Mark Beigelman P.C. (Prod counsel)
  T. Michael Wickersham (Prod counsel)
  D. R. Reiff & Associates (Insurance)
  Film Finances (Completion bond)
  Maureen Duffy (Completion bond)
  Paula Schmit (Completion bond)
  Bob Carnes (Transportation capt)
  George Smith (Driver)
  Allan Macdonald (Driver)
Color Personnel: Christopher Regan (Colour timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Zeni Me, Mamo," Bulgarian traditional, performed by the Newark Balkan Girls Chorus; "Dobro-Dosle," Macedonian traditional, performed by the Newark Balkan Girls Chorus; "Oj Savice," Croation traditional, performed by The Newark Balkan Girls Chorus; "Baby I Love Your Way," Peter Frampton, performed by Peter Frampton, copyright 1975 Almo Music Corp, on behalf of itself and Nuages Artists Music Ltd. (ASCAP), courtesy of A&M Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises.
Composer: Peter Frampton
Source Text: Based on the short story "Killings" by Andre Dubus in his Finding a Girl in America: Ten Stories and a Novella (Boston, 1980).
Authors: Andre Dubus

Physical Properties: col: Consolidated Film Industries
  Sd: Dolby Digital in selected theatres
  Sd: Todd-A-O
  Lenses/Prints: Zeiss & Angenieux
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Family relationships
  Injustice
  Marriage
  Murder
  Revenge
  Small town life
 
Subjects (Minor): Architecture
  Bars
  Battered women
  Boats
  Bridges
  Cabins
  Children
  Choirs (Music)
  Duplicity
  Factories
  Fathers and sons
  Firearms
  Fishing
  Friendship
  Funerals
  Jealousy
  Lawyers
  Lobsters
  Maine
  Mothers and sons
  Physicians
  Picnicking
  Poetry
  Poker (Game)
  Priests
  Romance
  Veterans

Note: In the opening cast credits of this film, Sissy Spacek receives top billing, while in the closing cast credits, Tom Wilkinson receives top billing. The film's title refers to the inner cage within a lobster trap, which is referred to as "the bedroom" and is intended to hold only two lobsters. When there are more than two lobsters, it is said that there is "trouble in the bedroom." The picture marked the directing debut of actor Todd Field, who also co-wrote the screenplay from a short story by Andre Dubus. Dubus died a year before production began, and Field dedicated the film to him in an onscreen credit. According to an 18 Nov 2001 NYT article, Field first became interested in Dubus’ writing in 1992 while a directing fellow at AFI's Conservatory. The article also reported that when Field first attempted to work on Dubus’ short story “Killings” in 1997, he learned that the story had already been optioned by producer Graham Leader and was being adapted by Robert Festinger. Leader and Festinger then encouraged Field to write his own adaptation of the story, and helped him to obtain financing for the production.
       The end credits include acknowledgments for the books Selected Stories by Andre Dubus and The Wyeths by N.C. Wyeth, both of which appear in the film; and the Boston Redsox Radio Simulcast, Courtesy of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. and the television program The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn , both of which are heard in the picture.
       The end credits also list acknowledgments for the cities of Rockland and Camden, ME, as well as for numerous local establishments that assisted with the production. In the Bedroom was shot on location in Maine’s Knox and Lincoln Counties. Field also shot some of the picture at his own family cabin near Rockland, and used his son's T-Ball team members as extras, according to the 18 Nov 2001 NYT article.
       Spacek and Wilkinson were awarded a joint Special Jury Prize for acting at the Sundance Film Festival, where In the Bedroom had its premiere. According to a 25 Jan 2001 HR article, several other companies besides Miramax, such as Fox Searchlight and Artisan Entertainment, bid on the domestic distribution rights to the film after its acclaimed premiere.
       Upon its limited release in Nov 2001, the picture garnered further awards, including the Best Film Prize from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Spacek and Wilkinson were named Best Actress and Best Actor by the New York Film Critics Circle. Spacek was also selected by AFI as Actor of the Year—Female—Movies. In the Bedroom was nominated by AFI in the following categories: Movie of the Year, Actor of the Year—Male—Movies (Wilkinson), Director of the Year (Field) and Screenwriter of the Year (Festinger and Field). The film received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress for Spacek and Best Supporting Actress for Marisa Tomei. The film received the following Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Tom Wilkinson, Best Actress, Spacek and Best Supporting Actress, Tomei. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   21 Jun 2000.   
Hollywood Reporter   22 Jan 2001   p. 33, 36.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Jan 2001   p. 8.
Los Angeles Times   23 Nov 2001.   
Newsweek   3 Dec 2001   p. 72.
New York Times   18 Nov 2001.   
New York Times   23 Nov 2001.   
Rolling Stone   6 Dec 2001.   
Wall Street Journal   23 Nov 2001.   

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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