I have been stalking this movie forever! It wasn't released here in the US, so I had to wait for it to make it to DVD. It was sooooo worth the wait.
"The Awakening" takes place in the early 1920s, post WWI English countryside. It is filmed in the most beautiful sets and setting that I have ever seen for any recent movie and a haunting soundtrack.
It involves a woman who is well educated and has spent her life debunking spiritualist charlatans. If you liked the movies "The Woman in Black" and "The Haunting," then this movie is a must-have.
The sense of loneliness and emotional isolation in this movie is powerful. The female investigator is called to a boy's boarding school where the youths are basically sent away like orphans to the big scary institution with broken and troubled instructors. She is an expert at debunking as she sets up her steampunk-looking early ghost hunting equipment and begins her investigation. There are many unsettling things afoot at the boys school and her character is edgy with a questionable history, seeming to be haunted by metaphorical ghosts. Or are they real?
"Truth comes at a price," is the theme of this story and it is so true. As an investigator, it takes something out of her each time she proves that there is no such thing as ghosts.
This movie takes many twists and turns you don't see coming and wow--what a climax! Some movies don't know how to end, this one did it with grace and dignity. And, as one of the characters in the movie points out, "we see what we need to see."
Of all the ghost-themed movies that have been out this past year including "Insidious," and "Woman in Black," this is the one I would recommend owning if you just buy one.