Ewan McGregor’s performance in “The Impossible” is very hard for me to describe, as it is one of the best I have seen in a very long time. I say this not because he is a friend but because it is a fact. His ability to project strength, charm, intelligence and sensitivity in all films seems to manifest itself tenfold in this one.
He falls into none of the well-laid melodramatic traps (neither does the director), and gives us at once a nuanced and emotionally raw performance that brings the piece to a profoundly moving place. The purity of his emotionality is something rarely seen in life, let alone in film.
When I mention proudly that Ewan is a friend, people often comment that he has had a “strange career,” because he appears in Hollywood, foreign and independent films in every kind and size of role. He is one of those actors who has chosen to follow no clear path. Only his own. And what that choice has allowed him to do, is to mature and gain depth as an actor in ways many of us don’t.
However, even better than that is the fact that Mr. McGregor is still a young man and therefore has many more years to astonish us with performances such as this one.