Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water ★★★

This corpse has been picked over plenty, and while I'll stipulate that it's a bit undercooked and pretty silly, on a rewatch I think it's one of those things you just have to deliberately slide into, which makes sense given that it's all of a piece with SIGNS and THE VILLAGE in its depiction of an insular community or group united by belief. You can choose to read Bob Balaban's character as a snipe at all critics, or you can take it as a representation of blanket, unfeeling skepticism. Up to you. Anyway, Shyamalan may exhibit all manner of ill-advised creative hubris but that doesn't mask his exceptional capabilities as a visual filmmaker. It's hard to make an ugly movie with Christopher Doyle shooting, but the way everything here is either behind a visual obstruction like a tree or a shower curtain, or shot through a portal like a window or door, or the constant grid patterns that pop up in, say, the courtyard of the apartment complex or even just the design on a blanket...all this suggests that the world is porous, that there's something on the other side if you choose to see it. This isn't a great movie but it's a great example of how something unusual and even rewarding can get tossed aside just because it's uncool.