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The Deep End
The Deep End is reminiscent of last winter's The Pledge. Both are centered around a Pacific Northwest lake-front town in the summer, both plots involve a crime with sexual overtones, and both feature a towering lead performance (The Pledge had Jack Nicholson, The Deep End has Tilda Swinton). And in both cases, my reaction was strangely muted.
Part of the problem with each film is that it's hard to make a thriller when the sun is out. Despite The Deep End's gorgeous cinematography (courtesy of Giles Nuttgens, Fire) and its evocative portrayal of the solitary side of Tahoe, California, the story's inherent tension is often diffused.
The story opens with Margaret Hall (Swinton) confronting Darby Reese (Josh Lucas), a man in his 30's who's been hanging around her 17-year-old son. Her taciturn son Beau (Jonathan Tucker) doesn't want to talk about the relationship. But the next morning, Hall finds Reese floating face-down in the water near her boat house and she assumes that her son is somehow involved. In an instant, she makes one of those decisions that always comes back to haunt cinematic characters--she takes the body and disposes of it on the other side of the lake.
Soon, there's a knock on
the door, but surprisingly it's not the police. Instead, it's some "business
associates" of Reese, who want to recover the money owed them and think
extorting it out of Margaret is their best
The Deep End is worth
seeing just to see Tilda Swinton's fantastic performance. She *is* the
protective mother caught between a rock and a hard place. Her conversations
with her son are perfectly pitched, and her
by J. Robert Parks 8/13/2001