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The Deep End

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas, Raymond J. Barry, Tamara Hope and Jordon Dorrance.

Directed by: Scott McGehee & David Siegel
Based on a novel by: Elizabeth Holding




Tilda (-twirl) Swinton, best known for her androgynous performance as the stylin' Orlando,
stars as Margaret Hall, a anti-climax-ish housewife drone who's extremely calm in any given situation life happens to throw her way. Her "nerves of steel housewife" is almost eerie in familiarity. Reminiscent of all those moms you see shuffling off to their kid's after school curriculums day in day out with a gaze of submerged soulless sadness.

Margaret's serene Dockers™ slacks and white cotton button up life is being shakin' by it's Martha Stewart roots, as her teen age son, Beau (Jonathan Tucker), is maturing and has developed a taste for is fellow man. The pre adult boy is learning about who he is sexually speaking and unfortunately the object of Beau's desire is a nasty sordid character. The budding man digs bad boys apparently…it doesn't help his mother's fears that his new manly interest is heading past 30 years old in a year or two.

So ever the "involved" mom, Margaret (Tilda), drives off from the sanctuary of her mundane life to a "men's" club to confront the older lover where he works. Sure, she's got that meek voiced Plain Jane façade, but even Harriet Homemaker morphs into a lioness when it comes to protecting her cubs. Albeit still a calm, subtle lioness. She tells the laughing boyfriend to leave Beau alone and reminds him he is not even 18 yet.

The man's a bit of a loser squared and he's determined to see the lad again. He saunters over to the families peaceful pacific western lake front home to smooch a little with the boy while the household unknowingly sleeps. The boy, Beau, decides he's over Mr. Suave, it's going to be painful, but he must move on to his next smit and, of course, college. Words are exchanged between the two moonlight loves as they get into a bit of fisticuffs by the stars and, oops, the older lover is dead.

Mother discovers the body and does a cracker jack job of 86ing the body. She approaches the deed with the same drive that she might organize a local food drive for the underprivileged. Though Margaret's not experienced and hiding a cadaver she's an expert at manning the household helm, as her husband, is perpetually "at sea" in the service, and murder covering up is all in a days house work...

As she returns to her picture perfect family life on the lake after the momentary exit into a murder's psyche, a shady stranger emerges. Enter the quintessential sleaze monger, Alek ( Goran Visnjic) from parts unknown. He advises he is pretty much aware of Beau's affair due to the little home made video de man-o-man her son made with newly deceased loverman. Alek wants money, natch, to keep the whole thing quiet and the drama truly begins.

Margaret is not having a good week.

The film does a wonderful job of giving you the sense of this woman's weighing responsibilities and fierce loyalty to her family. You find yourself agreeing with her every move, and even coaching the screen a bit when her decisions are, in your opinion wrong. You even feel Margaret, calmly, does what most any mother would do in that kind of a predicament. And The Deep End is a beautiful film, but it just moved too slowly for me.

The character's were too obvious. The grandfather character (Peter Donat) that ultimately becomes a turning point in plot direction, was so laughable and loud compared to Tilda's nearly monotoned performance, it was almost unnerving and distracting each time he appeared on screen.

The movie had also the kiss of death for one's suspension of belief; too many scenes were so unbelievable you found yourself whispering, "oh come on." We are just not this gulible any longer.

Sure, Swinton's a great actress, but she was so calm in this it felt as if she'd been drugged. Tilda Swinton was ultra smooth. Though, I felt she was so calm through out the film, I was being lulled to sleep at times. The boy, Jonathan Tucker, did a wonderful job at being both innocently and clueless as most teens are when it comes to things like, murder, and thankfully.

This Goran Visnjic, from ER, is a handsome fellow. No Clooney, but he'll suffice in the man you have to look at for two-hours department. While his Alek was sufficiently creepy and despicable at first, the character changes momentum too easily midfilm and you get that warm at the earsfeeling your being manipulated too quickly certainly the end of the film must near. His performance, minus the nano-second change of personality his character experiences, was notable.
The film is slow and often drags to the point of boring; for a suspense film that's not too good. There were no knuckles clenched to the seat scenes, no big mysteries being discovered, and quite frankly nothing that made this particularly memorable. Wait for rental.

Snack recommendation: No Doze


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