ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

In the Bedroom (2001), R
Analysis Date: February 23, 2002
CAP Score: 50
CAP Influence Density: 0.91

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

IN THE BEDROOM (R) -- A story about vengeance. "Stupid." "Dumbest movie..."

Distributed by: Miramax Films
Director(s): Todd Field
Producer(s): Graham Leader, Ted Hope, Ross Katz, Todd Field
Written by/Screenplay: Robert Festinger (screenplay), Todd Field (screenplay), Andre Dubus (story)
Cinematography/Camera: Antonio Calvache
Music: Thomas Newman
Editing: Frank Reynolds

A one paragraph description: A story about a son, Frank Fowler (Nick Stahl) preparing to go off to college having an immoral sexual relationship with a separated woman, Natalie Stroud (Marisa Tomei), getting killed by her husband, Richard (William Mapother), and the impact of the murder on the son's parents, Dr. Matt and Ruth Fowler (Tom Wilkinson, Sissy Spacek) and the community. A story of how the legal system lets murderers off easy. A story of seeking and getting vengeance [Rom. 12:19]. "Stupid", "Dumbest movie..." are two of the murmured comments from the audience at the end of the show. I agree.

This long (126 minute) movie presented little more than manufactured justification for murdering a murderer [Rev. 21:8]. Language was ugly [Prov. 17:20]. Marital argumentation was exceptionally bitter [Eph. 5:22 - 25, Col. 3:18 - 19, 1 Pet. 3:1, 1 Pet. 3:7 - 8]. The only thing I was pleased about in this movie is there was no nudity or sexually graphic imagery to it as is implied by the title. The only time I noted "in the bedroom" was about lobsters in the same trap. And that is indeed strange for Miramax, distributors of Pulp Fiction and many other movies, both heterosexual and homosexual in content, that push and exceed the porn threshold. Let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section tell it all about In the Bedroom.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers,... -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
  • Prov. 17:20 He that hath ... a perverse [haphak {haw-fak'}: to turn, overthrow, overturn; obstinate in opposing the norm or the accepted] tongue falleth into mischief.
  • Eph. 5:22 - 25 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  • Col. 3:18 - 19 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
  • 1 Pet. 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [anastrofe {an-as-trof-ay'}: manner of life, conduct, behaviour,] of the wives;
  • 1 Pet. 3:7 - 8 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    In the Bedroom (2001) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • separated husband terrorizing wife, trashing her home
  • assault
  • slap to the face
  • marital hatefulness and bitterness
  • firearm threats
  • planning "vigilante" murder
  • gamblin

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • child name-calling
  • lie to parents
  • other lie

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • physical intimacy, clothed
  • sex talk
  • man and woman in bed, clothed
  • implied sexual immorality
  • vulgar anatomical reference

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking,
  • drinking
  • drugging of wife to prevent discovery

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 17 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • two graphic murders by firearm

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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