Sunday, May 12, 2013

945. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
Main Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg
Click here to view the trailer


So it's been a few days since I've been blogging and I apologize for not warning you. Truth is, I didn't even know I'd be taking a short break and furthermore, I have to tell you that I'm getting just a little burnt out and am in desperate need of a break. However, I plan to charge ahead, since I'm so close to the 700 mark and really want to get there. Now then...

Where to begin, where to begin...ah yes! We start with Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Willis), observing him in his home, after recently winning an award for being an outstanding child psychologist. He is joined by his wife, Anna (Williams) and the two seem to be a pretty picture perfect couple. As they retire to their bedroom to...well you know, they realize that someone has broken in, in their absence, and that it's actually one of Malcolm's former patients, Vincent (Wahlberg) - one that he failed to help. The patient shoots him, shoots himself and then we fast forward to the following autumn. Nowadays Malcolm's marriage has gone from the picture of perfection that it once was and is now cold & distant, as Malcolm carries around the guilt of Vincent's suicide and his failure to rectify Vincent's personal demons. Now, Malcolm has a new patient - Cole Sear (Osment), a child who seems to be losing his grip with reality and acting stranger by the day. His mother (Collette) has (seemingly) acquired the assistance of Malcolm to try and help her son cope with the issues, which are thought to be brought on by the separation of her from Cole's father. The movie examines Malcolm's tactics as he tries to reach toward the heart of Cole's issues and becomes more eerie when the true nature of Cole's issues come to light...


When "The Sixth Sense" came out, I was fifteen years old and still remember watching it for the first time and being totally surprised by the ending. I'm sure a more attentive viewer could've spotted the twist ending, as there are a boat load of clues to get you to guess what's really going on. However, I'm going to assume that a lot of people were genuinely caught off guard by the ultimate revelation. The hints are subtle enough and of course, they're much easier to spot once you know the ending: Anna pulling the cover over her shoulders when Malcolm sits beside her on the bed, the fact that Malcolm has absolutely no verbal communication with Anna or Cole's mom, etc, etc. And lets not give all the credit to the marvelous, extremely surprising ending, as this movie certainly had merit long before the revelation that Bruce Willis was indeed one of those "dead people". It was a fairly simple story about a boy who had the power to see ghosts and the revelation that, in order to get them to leave him alone, he had to help them take care of unfinished business.

You know, I can even remember scoffing at the idea of Osment being nominated for an Academy Award, but after today's rewatch of this film, I can say that he definitely deserved it. Viewing his performance with an even more cinematically trained eye was good for making me realize what a talent filled performance he gave - almost too good a performance to come out of an eleven year old boy. Everyone else does a fine job too and how fitting that I watched this on Mother's Day, as Collette portrays a very loving, concerned mother to a tee.

RATING: 8/10  Don't be surprised if my reviews get a little bit shorter from here until the 700 mark, as I'm raring to wrap this season up!


May 12, 2013  8:54pm

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