I thought I was prepared for The Impossible.
I knew the movie was based on a true story. I knew the director had used real water — not CGI — to recreate the 2004 tsunami. I knew the fate of the family portrayed by Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and three child actors.
It wasn’t enough.
The Impossible is brutal — as realistic a retelling as I can imagine. Watching Naomi Watts and Tom Holland, who plays her oldest son Lucas, being swept away in the tsunami waters is harrowing. I don’t know how they could have shot those scenes and escaped real injury.
But while it is difficult to watch such personal and physical devastation, the movie is uplifted by the family’s will to live and determination to find each other, despite incredible odds.
Is it the obvious holiday film? No. But it does make you realize how lucky you are to be at home, surrounded by family and friends, safe and sound.