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Lady in the Water (2006)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery | 21 July 2006 (USA)
Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan
Popularity
4,640 ( 18)
10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Giamatti ... Cleveland Heep
Bryce Dallas Howard ... Story
Jeffrey Wright ... Mr. Dury
Bob Balaban ... Harry Farber
Sarita Choudhury ... Anna Ran
Cindy Cheung ... Young-Soon Choi
M. Night Shyamalan ... Vick Ran
Freddy Rodríguez ... Reggie
Bill Irwin ... Mr. Leeds
Mary Beth Hurt ... Mrs. Bell
Noah Gray-Cabey ... Joey Dury
Joseph D. Reitman ... Long Haired Smoker
Jared Harris ... Goatee Smoker
Grant Monohon Grant Monohon ... Emaciated Smoker
John Boyd ... One-Eyebrow Smoker
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Storyline

Cleveland Heep, a stuttering apartment superintendent, encounters a girl named Story swimming in the complex's pool. He soon learns that she comes from the Blue World, and has a message for mankind. Will he be able to help her complete her mission? Written by JRF

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not under the bed. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some frightening sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief, the creatures in this film are not based on any mythological creatures, and were all invented by director M. Night Shyamalan. The only creature to be based off of an existing illustration is the Narf, which is inspired by water sprites, nymphs, and water-faeries. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 4 mins) Given the length of the words mentioned, 9-across cannot touch 27-down in a crossword puzzle, as Mr. Dury says interpreting the puzzle while Story is in the shower (it would have to be at least 19 letters long to do so). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cleveland Heep: [narrating] Once, man and those in the water were linked. They inspired us. They spoke of the future. Man listened and it became real. But man does not listen very well. Man's need to own everything led him deeper into land. The magic world of the ones that live in the ocean, and the world of men, separated. Through the centuries their world, and all the inhabitants of it stopped trying. The world of man become more violent. War upon war played out, as there were no guides to listen...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

After the movie has ended, and all of the credits have scrolled, there appears the following dedication from M. Night Shyamalan: "To my daughters, I'll tell you this story one more time. But then go to bed." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: The Happening (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Secret Love
Written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Doris Day
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
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User Reviews

 
Splish Splash investors are taking a bath
21 July 2006 | by Craig_McPhersonSee all my reviews

I wonder if, after taking in M. Night Shyamalan's The Lady in the Water, Haley Joel Osment's character from The Sixth Sense might be inclined to say "I see lousy films, and one of them is in this theatre." Actually, calling The Lady in the Water "lousy" is too simplistic. The movie is more of a train wreck, with partially realized elements, loose ends aplenty, and wildly improbable leaps in its own narrative. And yet, in true Shyamalan fashion, the movie commands viewer respect in spite of its flaws.

Shyamalan credits the movie's plot to a bedtime story he created to entertain his children, but instead of conveying a simple story, the tale unfolds as a muddled new age fable that never really goes anywhere or accomplishes anything.

The movie's greatest strength is the casting of Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heep, the stuttering schlep caretaker of a Philadelphia apartment complex known as The Cove. Giamatti's everyman quality makes it easy for the viewer to quickly get sucked into the story, which involves Heep's discovery of a mysterious woman (Bryce Dallas Howard) one night in the complex's pool. Turns out this "Narf", or water nymph, has been sent from the "blue world" to the world of men to impart some sort of mystical knowledge that the film never makes very clear. Trying their best to kill her before she fulfills her mission are shadowy, supernatural "Scrunts", large hyena-like creatures comprised of grass and earth.

Sounds strange? Watching the film doesn't help as Shyamalan never bothers to explain why the Scrunts are out to kill his heroine, much less the grand importance of her mission.

In the decade that's passed since Shymalan burst onto the scene with his brilliant The Sixth Sense, the director has cultivated an equally proportioned number of fans and detractors. Few movie directors have been able to so totally polarize movie going audiences into love him or hate him camps as Shymalan. A lot of this has to do with his penchant for building his movies around plot twist device that fans either love, or find hackneyed.

As if listening to his critics, Shymalan has eschewed his traditional plot twist this time out in favor of a more conventional narrative, albeit one that more closely resembles a phone conversation with a really bad connection. The whole experience actually left me wishing for a twist that would turn the movie on its head and make me feel like everything I'd spent the last two hours watching was much more than the sum of its ambiguous parts.

Still, for all its numerous flaws, The Lady in the Water is still a compelling film. Shymalan's talent for imagery, characterization and musical scoring all give this movie a watchable dimension. I also have to admire him for his vision, for unlike many of his directorial contemporaries, he hasn't opted to "sell out" and cash in by helming any one of Hollywood's countless superhero action adventure popcorn movies that fill the cinemas each summer. He has a vision and stands by it, even unto failure. There's something to be admired in that.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lady in the Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,044,396, 23 July 2006

Gross USA:

$42,285,169

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$72,785,169
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital EX | DTS-ES

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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