The Appeal of Her Zeal

It's only days before Oscar Night, and the dash for big-time buzz, grosses and Academy glory is heating up. Amid all the hype, one quiet little film is gaining momentum — fast.

It has a nice steamy title — In the Bedroom — but no particular sexual heat. Todd Field, its first-time feature director, seems never to have looked at, let alone made, a music video. This is a patient movie, carefully studying what happens to an unexciting middle-class couple, Matt and Ruth Fowler (Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek), when their good, gifted son Frank (Nick Stahl) is carelessly killed...