Projections - Movie Reviews

The Deep End

The Deep End

The Deep End is the place where the shocking nightmare of Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) begins.  Swinton's Hall finds herself drawn into the chilling world of crime when she suspects her son, Beau (Jonathan Tucker), has murdered his older homosexual lover (Josh Lucas).

Hall quickly determines she will cover up the crime and moves the body from the shore next to her Lake Tahoe home.  From the moment she jumps into the cold lake we feel the tension she generates in a quality performance as a woman who finds herself in deeper and deeper with every scene.

Before long, she must face sex, lies, video tapes, blackmail, lost keys, inefficient vehicles, a stray blue corvette, a son who won't talk, a daughter who practices ballet and repairs cars, a father-in-law who is dependent and a navel officer husband who is at sea and unreachable.

The Deep End does leave us wondering about loose ends, but the performance by Swinton and the tension built up by the direction of Giles Nuttgens grab our attention as the body is discovered and we feel the drain on our emotions until the climax.

In a production that Hitchcock would have been proud of, this average house wife is thrust into a world that is alien to her, except that it challenges her when her son in danger.  As we watch her reaction and action, we constantly want to tell her what to do; we are ready to help.  That quality of Swinton's character touches even those who would take advantage of her son's sexual activity.

Swinton is joined by Goran Visnjic (TV's ER) who is an unusual character who is brought down by Hall's determination, honesty and openness.  Their relationship is unsettling as it adds to the pressure on the desperate heroine.

The story from The Blank Wall by suspense noir writer Elisabeth Sanxay Holding was set in the forties and contains the texture in which the heroine must carry out functions which are foreign to their basic instincts.  In this case moving a dead body and then diving back to its location to recapture an item.

While Hall's protection of her son has merit, particularly in her mind, her best intentions place the entire family in a position where all their lives could be forever changed.  From her journey into the cold water to her frantic attempts to reach her husband and her drive to raise money, we are on her side even when she takes actions which we want to yell at her to avoid.

This is a top notch thriller.  Not filled with blood, we see just the right amount to get the points across.  The Deep End is a thriller in which we feel helpless to save this brave women who is carrying us through a tension filled nightmare we can't take our eyes off of.

The Deep End

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