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Tony Grist

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The Sixth Sense [Sep. 24th, 2006|10:59 am]
Tony Grist
Watching The Sixth Sense the second time round, the puzzle element slips into irrelevance. It becomes a movie about people and relationships. A little simplistic and sentimental. We are put on this earth to help one another. 

It rides on three remarkable performances. Haley Joel Osment is extraordinary. Toni Colette is wonderfully natural and affecting.  And Bruce Willis is a revelation; who'd have guessed he was capable of this degree of subtlety?

It belongs in a tradition of stories about guardian angels and spirit guides- reaching back through It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol to folk tales like Cinderella.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2006-09-24 11:32 am (UTC)
M. Night Shaymalan said that it took him five drafts to realize that the Bruce Willis character was dead, whereupon everything clicked for him and he did several more re-writes before he felt the script was ready.

If you've not seen it yet, I recommend you watch The Jackal - Richard Gere is merely passable, but I really liked Willis' performance in the movie.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 12:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen the Jackal. Well, that's not entirely true- I've seen bits of it on TV. I've steered clear because I have such fond memories of the original.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-09-24 01:21 pm (UTC)
He wrote it and he didn't know that Bruce Willis was dead? I don't get that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely clear about this, but from the Shaymalan interview that comes as one of the DVD extras, I gather the story went through several drafts before he hit on the final twist. I guess in the earlier versions it was just a story about a child psychologist who sorts out a kid who sees ghosts.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-09-24 11:00 pm (UTC)
Oh! Thank you. That makes more sense to me.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-09-24 11:45 am (UTC)
For me, it revolves around the fact that the Haley Joel Osment/Toni Collette resolution scene was filmed right in front of our house! (But the camera had its back to us...) And huge chunks of it were filmed within a few blocks of us.

I also think that it has legs -- meaning that even without the puzzle element, it stands up to multiple viewings. But that may be because I enjoy seeing familiar surroundings.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 12:07 pm (UTC)
That scene is pretty much the heart of the movie.

No, you're right; it has legs. I'd watch it a third time- and a fourth.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-09-24 12:51 pm (UTC)
I think there are three important resolution scenes: that one; the Willis realization/sleeping Olivia Williams scene; and the King Arthur dismisses his subject scene. I'd be hard pressed to say which is the most critical.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 09:44 pm (UTC)
You're right. But of the three, it's the one between mother and son that makes my scalp tingle.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-09-24 12:29 pm (UTC)
I figured out the "surprise" too early--in the church scene. It's an insteresting plot, and the acting's amazing.

Night Shamilan hasn't been able to beat this movie. His later efforts show much strain.

His last two featured Director Ron Howard's daughter. I wonder if Howard is helping Shamilan finance his films? Because they are increasingly duds, imho...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 09:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched any of his other films. I read the reviews and that was enough.

I hope he gets it together again. Maybe he needs to try something in another genre.

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From: ex_adarog
2006-09-24 02:12 pm (UTC)
You make me want to watch this film again. I, too, would not have believed Willis could be so good an actor. I like Shyamalan a lot, but I only saw The Sixth Sense after seeing some of his other work. Have you seen Lady in the Water yet?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 09:49 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen any of his other movies. I read the reviews and it seemed like they were all a bit of a disappointment.

Would you recommend Lady in the Water?
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From: ex_adarog
2006-09-24 10:23 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely recommend Lady in the Water, and I also liked The Village and Signs. Shyamalan's films always make me think.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-09-24 09:52 pm (UTC)
I've never warmed to Bruce Willis- His cocky, in your face, Die Hard persona turns me right off. But- unlike his Planet Hollywood compadres, Sly and Arnie- he's an actor of considerable range.
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