Standing Ovations are a great honour unless they are pre-arranged like the ones we see at political rallies. Ovations are most powerful if they are spontaneous like the one Tom and I discuss in this clip, given by the Toronto audience at the worldwide premiere of The Impossible.
For obvious reasons this screening was a momentous evening for Tom and his family. The beginning and possibly the end of his exciting but fleeting career, so enjoy it while it lasts!
A career which remains ongoing of course and is Team Hollands great fortune – not financially, speaking.
I recall the evening vividly and I am still conflicted why the audience rose to their feet for a movie which was not a commercial success in North America. Was the ovation for the film and the actors? Or was it for the family whose story had been depicted and whose presence in the theatre was revealed at the end?
I suspect it was the latter.
Which brings me to an important philosophical point – one which I make in the book (Eclipsed), but it bears repeating.
It was made by the movie’s director, J A Bayona and is this: that the Belon family did not have a hand in their survival. They did not do anything special in order to survive.
In isolation, this might seem harsh and cold until it is explained that if the Belon family did do something special then it implies that those who perished did not and that they could have done more.
In reality, the deaths of 250,000 people were arbitrary, and the survivors happened to be fortunate.
The Orchid Beach Resort on the coast in Khao Lak was like thousands of other hotels in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia… on that fateful morning when the ocean dumped itself inland and destroyed everything before it.
At the Orchid, as many as 80 guests and staff died, many in their bedrooms with no chance to survive. That the five members of one Spanish were split up for days with death all around them, assuming the worst but in fact they all survived, is a remarkable story. A triumph and a chink of light in what remains the darkest of days – the greatest natural disaster in any living person’s lifetime.