"It’s worth noting that the impact would have been no less horrifying had the Belon family remained Spanish and been played by, say, Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. That the vast majority of the tsunami’s approximately 230,000 victims were not the well-heeled Westerners we see here - well, that’s typical of the movie business but no less bothersome. That said, [Tom] Holland and [Naomi] Watts deserve to be in contention this awards season… Watts keeps [her character] constantly connecting… From an always superlative actress comes an almost impossibly convincing performance."
Mary Pols, “Love Among the Ruins.” Time, Vol. 180, No. 23
So basically, in the most blatant admission, we have acknowledgement of problematic whitewashing, racism, and classism - a Spanish family played by British actors; an impoverished brown country used as a backdrop for (comparatively, but most likely actually) wealthy white people in what Pols explicitly refers to as “disaster porn” - and the movie industry’s purposeful dismissal of the valid concerns those things bring up in favor of an “impossibly convincing performance.” This film was made by a Spanish man; that makes the whitewashing okay! And even if it weren’t, none of your complaints matter in the end, colored folk, because white people have tugged on your heartstrings!
Well, fuck you, too.