London is rocked by a shocking terrorist bombing in this dramatic thriller starring Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy, Brokeback Mountain) and Ewan McGregor, (Trainspotting, the Star Wars trilogy). Williams delivers a rive... more »ting and heart-felt performance as a young wife and mother who suffers a devastating loss in the attack...which occurs while she's meeting her secret lover (McGregor). Wracked with guilt and trying to piece her shattered life back together, she becomes embroiled in the police investigation of the attack - and discovers that the authorities will do anything to cover up the terrifying truth behind it..« less
Steven H. (sehamilton) from BIRMINGHAM, AL Reviewed on 2/27/2010...
I wanted to like this movie, but it just drug through scene after scene. Watching this I was reminded of the joke, "Britains and Americans are two people separated by a common languge." I could not understand half of what Michelle Williams said in the film, and I had the volume as high as it would go. In the end the movie was confusing and unsatisfying. 2 stars.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Moving Touching Film
Daniel G. Lebryk | 06/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film took me by the heart. To me this was a film about a mother's love for her son, an all consuming love. To me, it had little to do with terrorism, fidelity, or a who done it mystery. Michele Williams is stupendous in the role of the young mother - she has no name in the film, just the young mother. The cinematography is outstanding. The sound recorded perfectly. And the story line was just wonderful. I felt the young mother's pain of losing her son.
There are movies where the camera work is poor, good, or remarkable. This film is shot in that very small percentage of remarkable films. The opening sequences with the mother and her son on the beach are simply gorgeous, visually and audibly. They are flashed back many times during the film, and are so welcome. The director made the visual and sound so unique that even an out of focus view, virtually all tan; or the sound without the image; evokes the memory of that sequence. Framing is so well done. The director of photography got almost every scene on the mark - characters on the strong and weak sides of the frame, leading diagonals, color, movement - all done beautifully.
The trailer for this film is so misleading. It looks like some treatise on terrorism, infidelity, a police cover up, a terrorism mystery...the film is none of these things. In fact they are simply pretexts to better define what this mother felt. The quotes at the very end of the film (revealing them would be a spoiler for the film) are so pointed at exactly this - parenthood and a love for their child. If you are expecting what is seen in the trailer, this film will be a huge disappointment.
Michele Williams (The United States of Leland and The Station Agent) is simply gorgeous in this film. During this film, she transforms from a mild mother, to a sweet housewife, to a crazed person. She is beautiful with her clothes on and off. The scene on the couch with her and Ewan McGregor is somewhat explicit and absolutely gorgeous. That particular moment was very strange, in that you know she is married, but her husband has somehow become a non-person in the movie. And the Ewan McGregor character is so much more perfect, or more charismatic. Their coupling just doesn't seem wrong somehow. It's not a moral situation (right or wrong), or played that way; it just is. The later scenes of her son are so much stronger after this moment occurs.
Strangely this film has not enjoyed much popularity, success, or release. Shown at Sundance in 2008; quietly in limited theatrical release in early 2009; and just recently released on DVD. I would blame that all on very poor marketing. The DVD cover art almost gets it right.
At one hour forty minutes, it is exactly the right length; pacing is perfect. The movie is rated R due to the scene with Jasper and the young wife. There's a bit of gore at the blown up football stadium. Very little strong language. The DVD includes almost no special features - the horrible trailer, and a set of very high quality still photographs done up in slideshow format. Focus is entirely on the movie.
I'm surprised this film isn't more loved by more people. This one touched me very deeply and I loved Michele Williams and Ewan McGregor's performances. The cinematography and sound is outstanding. The script was so wonderful - the voice over narration was so good."
BJ | East Peoria, IL United States | 06/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Incendiary" is not only a unique and wonderful story, its captivating!
I'm happy to see at least a few good reviews here, because the movie does'nt seem to be that well known, yet.
While on vacation this past week, I rented a slew of movies, "Reservation Road", "Defiance", "He's Just Not That Into You", "Doubt" along with "Incendiary". All those other movies were good, but they were exactly what I was expecting them to be. "Incendiary" was one of the last movies I watched and it turned out to be the best. In fact it was one of the best movies I've seen in awhile and I watch alot of movies.
I wasn't completely sold on Michele Willams, but Ewan McGregor drew me in and his role ended up being a rather small one. It's a great movie with alot of heart and raw emotion in it, Michelle Williams is the main focus of the movie and she doesn't disappoint.
This is another one of those movies that has a slow build up and it just keeps building up until the climax.
"Incendiary" is based off the book by Chris Cleave, which was originally released right around or on the same day as the July 7th, 2005 London subway terrorist attacks. Follow this link to the book- Incendiary
Highly recommended movie!!
An emotional film, a subpar Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 04/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I hate to admit I was tricked into ordering as many as I did because of the description, trailer and preliminary "thriller" reviews. I'll make this a two part review to be as fair as possible, one part on the mis-marketing and the other on the Blu-Ray product (small spoilers).
The story covers loads of grief, emotions and loss as a woman (Michelle Williams) loses her son and husband in a major terrorist explosion in London. Coincidentally, she is having a tryst (with Ewan McGregor) whilst her family is killed. With extensive flashbacks of her son, coupled together with three other distinct story lines, we get spattered with some bad writing and abbreviated conclusions.
Marketing: The trailer shows the only 80 seconds of activity in the whole film (outside of the sex scene). Case description: "...and discovers the authorities will do anything to cover up the terrifying truth behind it." Once you watch the film you realize how incorrect that statement is. Between being pushed as a thriller and my customers thinking it would be a conspiracy/semi-action film, I think one's expectations should be a little different as to alleviate any disappointment. There is lots of melancholy, sadness, beach footage, regret and a 1000 memorial blimps - not much else.
The Blu looked crisp, but very little color gets used. The clarity did show a variety of errors, including blatant crew reflections in vehicles (not brief either) and the CGI failings during the one stadium sequence. The DTS gets used best during the explosion sequence but not much else except some classical music mix. No extras to speak of, except a brief photo gallery of cast and crew.
There are both adequate and poor/minimal performances, a somewhat graphic sex scene that gets spoiled, and numerous shortcomings in the story that detract from what sounded like an excellent book. I would recommend it as a rental, maybe an owner for those Michelle fans, but overall this did little as a Blu product."
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 09/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dear Osama," "They say that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Do you find that, sitting in your cave with your Kalashnikov?" Michelle Williams plays a young London woman who is trying to piece her life together after a tragedy. If ever there was a one woman show, this is it, even though there are other actors. I gave this film 4 stars because of her acting.
For some reason this young woman remains married to a man who gives her little attention. She is beautiful and resilient and keeps their marriage and their much beloved son together, for what, I can only imagine. She begins the narrative on this film talking about her son and she tells us she will explain soon. On a fine day, husband and son go off the latest Arsenal/Chelsea game. The young woman meets up with her next door neighbor, they had a one night affair and again the attraction and they meet and well.... All Hell has broken loose and a terrorist attack occurs and husband and son are not coming home.;. Young mum convinces the next door neighbor, a journalist for a London paper, to take her to the site and in the middle of this, she is injured. To top this doozy of a film off, her husband worked for a government anti-terrorist group. His supervisor tries to take care of the young woman. In the meantime the young journalist has found information of a government secret. In and out and about the story goes with no where to settle.
This could have been a wonderful film with more of a story. We have to fill in too many bits and pieces. Michelle Williams is the story but that is not enough for this film. I loved the essence of this film, and what it could have said.
Recommended. prisrob 09-01-09
Wendy and Lucy
A Hole in One "
Don't expect it to be like the book
M. Quinn | Bountiful, UT United States | 06/24/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I never expect a movie based on a book to be true to the book, and indeed, that is the case here -- but this movie is worth seeing on its own merits. I finished the book yesterday and watched the movie today -- they are like distant cousins, one reminiscent of the other with some memories of shared experiences, but if you're looking for the book in the movie, you will be disappointed.
Plot summaries abound in other reviews so I won't take the time for that. Apparently the trailer is wildly off the mark, leading one to expect an action-packed, suspenseful government cover-up -- that is unfortunate, and I am very glad I never saw a trailer. Michelle Williams was wonderful as the grieving mother -- I cannot understand reviewers who have panned her, I thought she was really very good. Ewan McGreggor was fine, though his character really took a back seat (Jasper Black is a COMPLETELY different person in the book) but the movie wasn't really about him, it was about the mother and her grief. The 11-year-old boy subplot which was added I thought contributed nicely to what this movie was trying to convey -- purists hoping for a good novel-to-screen transfer will disagree, but those scenes with the boy really enriched the movie.
I would definitely recommend the book -- there is a lot of black humor in the book which the scriptwriter did away with altogether -- just don't expect the book to be like the movie!"