The Others (2001 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Produced by||Fernando Bovaira
José Luis Cuerda
|Written by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Music by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Editing by||Nacho Ruiz Capillas|
Las Producciones del Escorpion
|Distributed by||Dimension Films (US)
Warner Bros. (Spain)
|Running time||104 minutes|
The Others is a 2001 psychological/supernatural horror film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar, starring Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. William Skidelsky of The Observer has suggested that it is inspired by the 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw.
It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for Best Film and Best Director. This was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain's national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it. The Others was nominated for six Saturn Awards including Best Director and Best Writing for Amenábar and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Alakina Mann, and won three: Best Horror Film, Best Actress for Kidman and Best Supporting Actress for Fionnula Flanagan. Kidman was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Drama and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, with Amenábar being nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, a rare occurrence for a horror film.
Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is a devout Roman Catholic mother who lives with her two small children in a remote country house in the British Crown Dependency of Jersey, in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), have an uncommon disease, xeroderma pigmentosum, characterized by photosensitivity, so their lives are structured around a series of complex rules designed to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight. The new arrival of three servants at the house — an aging nanny and servant named Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), an elderly gardener named Mr. Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a young mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) — coincides with a number of odd events, and Grace begins to fear that they are not alone.
Anne draws pictures of four people: a man, a woman, a boy called Victor, and an old woman, all of whom she says she has seen in the house. A piano is heard from inside a locked room when no one is inside. Grace finds and examines a "book of the dead," which shows mourning portraits taken in the 19th century of recently deceased corpses. Doors which Grace believes to have been closed are found mysteriously ajar. Grace tries hunting down the "intruders" with a shotgun but cannot find them. She scolds her daughter for believing in ghosts — until she hears them herself. Eventually, convincing herself that something unholy is in the house, she runs out in the fog to get the local priest to bless the house. Meanwhile, the servants, led by Mrs. Mills, are clearly up to something of their own. The gardener buries a headstone under autumn leaves, and Mrs. Mills listens faithfully to Anne's allegations against her mother.
Outside, Grace loses herself in the heavy fog, but she miraculously discovers her husband Charles (Christopher Eccleston), who she thought had been killed in the war, and brings him back to the house. Charles is distant during the one day he spends in the house, and Mrs. Mills is heard telling Mr. Tuttle, "I do not think he knows where he is." Grace later sees an old woman dressed up like her daughter. Grace says, "You are not my daughter!" and attacks her. However, she finds that she has actually attacked her daughter instead. Anne refuses to be near her mother afterward, while Grace swears she saw the old woman. Mrs. Mills tells Anne that she too has seen the people, but they cannot yet tell the mother because Grace will not accept what she is not ready for. Charles is stunned when Anne tells him the things her mother did to her. He says he must leave for the front and disappears again. After Charles leaves, Anne continues to see things, including Victor's whole family and the old woman.
Grace breaks down to Mrs. Mills, who claims that "sometimes the world of the dead gets mixed up with the world of the living." One morning, Grace wakes to the children's screams: all of the curtains in the house have disappeared, as Anne had said they might. When the servants refuse to help look for them, Grace realizes that they are somehow involved. Hiding the children from the light, she banishes the servants from the house. A series of loud noises from the upper storey of the house follows this event. That night, Anne and Nicholas sneak out of the house to find their father and stumble across the hidden graves. They find that the graves belong to the servants. At the same time, Grace goes to the servants' quarters and finds a photograph from the book of the dead and is horrified to see that it is of the three servants. The servants appear and follow after the children, who make it back into the house just as Grace emerges to hold off the servants with a shotgun.
They then say that they had died of tuberculosis more than 50 years before. The children run upstairs and hide, but are found by the strange old woman. Downstairs, the servants continue talking to Grace, telling her that the living and the dead have to learn to exist together. Upstairs, Anne and Nicholas discover the old woman is acting as a medium in a séance with Victor's parents. It is then that they learn the truth: the real ghosts are none other than Anne, Nicholas, and their mother, who is believed to have killed them in a fit of psychosis before committing suicide. Grace loses her temper and supernaturally attacks the visitors by ripping and throwing pieces of paper that lay on the table. However, the visitors are only able to see the paper ripping of its own accord, further confirming Grace and her children are indeed the ghosts. The truth finally clear to Grace, she breaks down with the children and remembers what happened just before the arrival of their new servants.
Stricken with grief for her missing husband and increasingly frustrated by living in isolation, she went insane, smothered her children with a pillow, and then, in shock after realizing what she had done, put a rifle to her forehead and pulled the trigger. When nothing happened and upon hearing the laughter of Nicholas and Anne, Grace assumed that God had granted her family a miracle by offering them a second chance at life. Grace and the children realize that Charles is also dead, but he is not aware of it. Mrs. Mills appears and informs Grace that they will learn to get along, and sometimes won't even notice the living people who inhabit their house. Since the children no longer have their mortal bodies, they are no longer sensitive to light, and for the first time the children freely enjoy the sunlight coming through the windows. The occupants, unable to rid the house of Grace and the children, drive away with Grace's ghost watching from an upstairs window. The sign on the gate says the house is for sale.
- Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart.
- Alakina Mann as Anne Stewart, Grace's daughter.
- James Bentley as Nicholas Stewart, Grace's son and Anne's younger brother.
- Fionnula Flanagan as Bertha Mills, the new housekeeper and the children's new nanny.
- Eric Sykes as Edmund Tuttle, the new gardener.
- Elaine Cassidy as Lydia, the new maid.
- Christopher Eccleston as Charles Stewart, Grace's husband, who went into the war years earlier.
- Keith Allen as Mr. Marlish.
- Michelle Fairley as Mrs. Marlish.
- Renée Asherson as the Old Lady
The film was released August 10, 2001 in 1,678 theaters in the United States and Canada and grossed $14 million its opening weekend, ranking fourth at the box office. It stayed in fourth for three more weeks, expanding to more theaters. During the weekend of September 21–23, it was second at the box office, grossing $5 million in 2,801 theaters. The film, which cost $17 million to produce, eventually grossed $96.5 million in the United States and Canada and $113.4 million in other countries, for a worldwide total gross of $218.9 million.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 84% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 143 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four, praising that "...Alejandro Amenábar has the patience to create a languorous, dreamy atmosphere, and Nicole Kidman succeeds in convincing us that she is a normal person in a disturbing situation and not just a standard-issue horror movie hysteric". However, he noted that "in drawing out his effects, Amenábar is a little too confident that style can substitute for substance."
- BAFTA Awards:
- Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)
- Goya Awards:
- Best Cinematography (Javier Aguirresarobe)
- Best Director (Alejandro Amenábar)
- Best Editing (Nacho Ruiz Capillas)
- Best Film
- Best Production Design
- Best Production Supervision
- Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro Amenábar)
- Best Sound
- Kansas City Film Critics:
- Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)
- London Film Critics:
- Best Actress of the Year (Nicole Kidman)
- Online Film Critics:
- Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)
- Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro Amenábar)
- Golden Globe Awards:
- Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama (Nicole Kidman)
- Saturn Awards:
In pop culture
- Scary Movie 3 includes parodies of scenes from the film, particularly the famous "I am your daughter" sequence.
- Spanish Movie is a parody movie that spoofs several successful Spanish horror/drama films, primarily The Others but also The Orphanage, Pan's Labyrinth, REC, and others.
- Australian Band Elora Danan wrote a song about the film called "Thank God for Their Growth in Faith and Love" (a line seen on the children's blackboard in a later scene) which was a track on their debut EP We All Have Secrets.
- Electronic music artist Venetian Snares uses a sample from the film in the song "Children's Limbo" on the album Find Candace.
- Skidelsky, Will. "Classics corner: The Turn of the Screw," The Observer (29 May 2010).
- The MovieWeb Team (June 13, 2002). "The 2001 Saturn Awards". MovieWeb.
- "The Others (2001) - Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "The Others (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "The Others - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "Others, The (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
- "The Others (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- Official website
- The Others at the Internet Movie Database
- The Others at allmovie
- The Others at Box Office Mojo
- The Others at Metacritic
- The Others at Rotten Tomatoes