Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
We may only be two days into 2013 but The Impossible is one of the most life-affirming and emotional movies that we are set to see this year.
The movie is based on the devastating 2004 Tsunami and is story about strength, love and the fight to survive.
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise.
But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the centre of the earth.
As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.
First and foremost this The Impossible is a real filmmaking feat as Bayona has delivered a movie that is incredibly epic and the scale of the devastation that he portrays is just incredible.
This is not the kind of movie that we are use to seeing from Bayona - he brought us the fantastic The Orphanage - but he has turned his hand to this genre with great ease.
The cinematography is just breathtaking as he captures as he really does recreate this terrible event with such realism.
And while The Impossible is a movie of great size and scale and it is the central story and performances that really make this film what it is.
At it's heart it is a story about survival and a family who just want to find one another.
Sounds simple and yet with that comes a huge wallop of emotional and some stunning turns.
Naomi Watts is simply magnificent in the central role of Maria as a mother who is determined to stay alive for her son.
She shows a real strength in every scene that she is in and her relationship with Tom Holland is the film's driving force.
Holland plays Maria's oldest son Lucas and while he is making his big screen debut you would never know it.
He is assured and confident and he gives a great performance as the child who is forced to look after his mother.
The Impossible is an inspiring tale of familial strength and love under the most horrendous circumstances - one someone with a heart of stone would fail to be moved by such a harrowing and touching story.
This is an intense and fast paced movie from start to finish that emotional and powerful throughout.
And while this is a movie on a huge scale there is something incredibly intimate about it - that is all thanks to the fantastic direction by Bayona.
This movie could so easily have lost its way but by keeping it centred on the plight of one family Bayona has made this an incredibly tense and emotional watch.
This is one that is not to be missed.
The Impossible is out now.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw