In the Bedroom


2h 18m 2001

Brief Synopsis

Matt Fowler is a doctor practicing in his native Maine and is married to New York born Ruth Fowler, a choral music teacher. Their only child, Frank, home from school for the summer, is working as a part-time lobsterman to earn money for graduate school in the fall. He is involved in a love affair wi

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Dec 25, 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 Company
Good Machine Productions; Greenestreet Films
Distribution Company
Miramax Films
Country
United States
Location
Maine, USA; Camden, Maine, United States; Knox County, Maine, United States; Lincoln County, Maine, United States; Rockland, Maine, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Killings" by Andre Dubus in his Finding a Girl in America: Ten Stories and a Novella (Boston, 1980).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m

Synopsis

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?"

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

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

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

Crew

Roy Allen

Lobster consultant

John S. Althoff Iii

Dolly grip

Suzanne Andre Iii

Defender of the faith

Ben Apley

Digital Effects Coordinator

Mab Ashforth

Clothing provided by

Rod Basham

Digital Effects composite artist

Clyde Beamer

Digital Effects Supervisor

Mark Beigelman P.c.

Prod counsel

Woody Bell

Key grip

Mark Berghash

Furnishings & paintings by

Bill Bernstein

Music Editor

Casey Block

Post prod accounting Assistant

Jason Bowen

Camera grip

Julian Bratolyubov

Music preparation

Paul Bremer

Film runner

Jonathan Broadstreet

Rendering artist

Evans Brown

Gaffer

Francie Brown

Dialect coach

Keith Bryant

Digital Effects prod

Antonio Calvache

Cinematographer

Dave Cambria

Best Boy

Richard Cardillo

Electrician

Rachel Carey

Casting Assistant

Bob Carnes

Transportation capt

Adam Carroll

Production Assistant

Robert Clark

Electrician

John Clifford

Stills Photographer

Erica Colegrove

Camera Assistant

Robert Colman

Camera grip

Dee Cooke

Extras casting

Gwendolyn Cooper

Production Assistant

Kyle Cooper

With support from

Jordon Corngold

Assistant Music Editor

Keith Crofford

Loc consultant

Stephen Dembitzer

Co-Executive prod

Cathi Dicocco

Caterer

Shanon Dilloway

Production Assistant

Jeb Dubus

Defender of the faith

Maureen Duffy

Completion bond

Melissa Economy

Costume Design

Brant Fagan

Steadicam op

Caitlin Feeley

Production Assistant

Rob Festinger

Screenwriter

Mary Feuer

Prod Supervisor

Todd Field

Producer

Todd Field

Screenwriter

Todd Field

Company

John Finn

Post prod accountant

Jake Fleming

Production Assistant

Bill Foyd

Focus puller

Peter Frampton

Composer

Rachelle Franhauser

Electrician

Peter Frankfurt

With support from

Greg Gadbury

Maine Film Commision

Laurie Anne Gardner

Props Assistant

Joe Gaswirt

Music mastered by

Michael A. Genne

Camera op and 2d unit cine

Marcy Gensic

Music contractor

Kirsten Gilg

Set Dresser

Lea Girardin

Maine Film Commision

Mia Goldman

Editorial consultant

Terry Goodhue

Const

Bruce Greenspan

Addl dial Editor

Michael Hadley

Camera grip

Sean Hadley

Camera grip

Shawn Hamilton

Post prod accounting Assistant

Amanda Hannan

Camera grip

William Hansard Jr.

Process Effects

William Hansard

Process Effects

Bob Harper

Addl makeup

Sally Harper

Hair

Terri Harper

Makeup

Shannon Hart

Sets

Raymond Harvie

Rendering artist

Scott Herring

Camera grip

Randi Hiller

Casting

Ted Hope

Executive Producer

Chip Houghton

With support from

Joel Iwataki

Music scoring mixer

Chris Jenkins

Re-rec mixer

Ross Katz

Producer

Bobby Kerr

Lobster consultant

Dr. Walter Kerr

Lobster consultant

Okhee Kim

Assistant

Victoria Lang

Assistant Director

Graham Leader

Producer

Sig Libowitz

Prod Executive

Deborah Lipman

Camera Assistant

Annie Lynch

Production Assistant

Rodney Lynch

Willis' war memorabilia

Allan Macdonald

Driver

Andrew Marcus

Assistant to Mr. Penotti

Cameron Matheson

Set Dresser

Glenn Mathias

Assistant to the Director

Peter Mcdonald

Production Assistant

Elaine Mcfarland

Production Assistant

Jennifer Mears

Electrician

Per Melita

Prod Supervisor

Martin Merritt

Scenics

Tim Metivier

Camera Assistant

Zachary Miner

Production Assistant

Mike Misner

Craft service

Gregg Molander

Production Assistant

Frank Montano

Re-rec mixer

Belinda Monte

Casting

Leslie Morris

Music contractor

Jonathan Morse

Rendering artist

Nathaniel Mundel

Film runner

Matthew Nagle

Set Dresser

Mark Narramore

Recording

Anne Nevin

Prod Coordinator

Thomas Newman

Music

Meghan Nichols

Art Department Assistant

Chris Nickerson

Electrician

Anthony D. Norton

Electrician

Wilder Oaks

Scenics

Joshua Outerbridge

Set Decoration

Tanoa Parks

Prod accountant

Susan Parsons

Assistant prod Coordinator

Thomas Pasatieri

String orch

Tim Payson

Props Master

John Penotti

Executive Producer

Brian Pitts

Rigging gaffer

Ned Price

Tech consultant

Serena Rathbun

Special consult

Christopher Regan

Colour timer

Shane Reilly

Camera grip

Frank Reynolds

Film Editor

Brian Ricci

Special Effects

Will Riley

Supervisor Sound Editor

Aida Rodgers

Assistant Director

John Roesch, Warner Hollywood

Foley artist

Mike Rudolph

Camera grip

Virginia Saenz Mccarthy

Script Supervisor

Sebastian Salomo

Production Assistant

Paula Schmit

Completion bond

Mark Schoen

Assistant to Ms. Spacek

Shana Schoepke

Wardrobe mistress

Sandy Shapiro

Loc Manager

Penn Sicre

Co-Executive prod

Amanda Slater

Assistant Director

George Smith

Driver

Kathryn Smith

Loc Manager

Tyris Smith

Lead man

Caleb Snyder

Boom Operator

Dan Stillman

1st Assistant Director

Charles Stone Jr.

Lobster consultant

Ivan Stone

ATV

Janice Stone

Katie's snapshots

William Suhr

Process Effects

Tiffany Thomas

Accounting Assistant

Melinka Thompson-godoy

Assistant to Mr. Hope

Edward Tise

Sound Recording

Lisa Varetakis

Sound Editing

Leon Vitali

Tech consultant

Eleda Wacker

Production Assistant

Kenneth Weinberg

Set Dresser

Evanne Weirich

Chorus Director

Soso R. Whaley

Deer trainer

T. Michael Wickersham

Prod counsel

Tim Williams

Co-producer

Greg Wilmer

Camera Assistant

Robin Wimbiscus

Performance Coordinator

Eric Yellin

2d Assistant Director

Heidi Zellner, West Coast Editorial

Negative cutter

Julia Ziegler-haynes

Production Assistant

Julia Ziegler-haynes

Assistant to Mr. Wilkinson

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Dec 25, 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 Company
Good Machine Productions; Greenestreet Films
Distribution Company
Miramax Films
Country
United States
Location
Maine, USA; Camden, Maine, United States; Knox County, Maine, United States; Lincoln County, Maine, United States; Rockland, Maine, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Killings" by Andre Dubus in his Finding a Girl in America: Ten Stories and a Novella (Boston, 1980).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 18m

Award Nominations

Best Actor

2001

Best Actress

2001
Sissy Spacek

Best Adapted Screenplay

2001

Best Picture

2001

Best Supporting Actress

2001
Marisa Tomei

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

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 November 18, 2001 New York Times 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 November 18, 2001 New York Times 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 January 25, 2001 Hollywood Reporter 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 November 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.

Miscellaneous Notes

Co-winner of the 2002 Artios Award for Feature Film - Independent by the Casting Society of America (CSA).

Nominated for three 2001 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, including Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson), Best Actress (Sissy Spacek) and Best Ensemble Cast.

Voted one of the 10 best films of 2001 by the American Film Institute (AFI).

Winner of the 2001 award for Best Actress (Sissy Spacek) from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Winner of the 2001 award for Most Promising Director from the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Winner of the award for Actor of the Year - Female (Sissy Spacek) at the 2001 American Film Institute (AFI) Awards. Nominated for a further four awards, including Movie of the Year, Actor of the Year - Male (Tom Wilkinson), Director of the Year and Screenwriter of the Year.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance - Drama (Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek) at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

Winner of three 2001 awards, including Best First Film, Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson) and Best Actress (Sissy Spacek), from the New York Film Critics Circle.

Winner of three 2001 Golden Satellite Awards, including Best Picture - Drama, Best Actress - Drama (Sissy Spacek) and Best Adapted Screenplay, from the International Press Academy.

Winner of two 2001 awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay, from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

Winner of two 2001 awards, including Best Film and Best Actress (Sissy Spacek), from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Expanded Release in United States December 25, 2001

Released in United States 2001

Released in United States Fall November 23, 2001

Released in United States January 2001

Released in United States November 2001

Released in United States October 2001

Released in United States on Video August 13, 2002

Wide Release in United States January 11, 2002

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (in competition) October 4-18, 2001.

Shown at London Film Festival (Evening Standard Film on the Square) November 7-22, 2001.

Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 23 - September 3, 2001.

Shown at the IFP Market/(IFFM) in New York City September 30 - October 5, 2001.

Feature directorial debut for actor and photographer Todd Field.

Miramax acquired North American distribution rights at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival for a reported $1.5 million.

Began shooting June 22, 2000.

Completed shooting July 6, 2000.

Actor William Mapother is the cousin of Tom Cruise.

Released in United States 2001 (Shown at Montreal World Film Festival August 23 - September 3, 2001.)

Released in United States 2001 (Shown at the IFP Market/(IFFM) in New York City September 30 - October 5, 2001.)

Released in United States January 2001 (Shown at Sundance Film Festival (Dramatic Competition) in Park City, Utah January 18-28, 2001.)

Wide Release in United States January 11, 2002

Released in United States on Video August 13, 2002

Released in United States October 2001 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival (in competition) October 4-18, 2001.)

Released in United States November 2001 (Shown at AFI Fest 2001: The American Film Institute Los Angeles International Film Festival (International Competition) November 1-11, 2001.)

Released in United States November 2001 (Shown at London Film Festival (Evening Standard Film on the Square) November 7-22, 2001.)

Released in United States Fall November 23, 2001

Expanded Release in United States December 25, 2001