Entertainment

The Deep End

by Kilian Melloy
Friday May 23, 2014
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The Blu-ray release of Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s 2001 domestic drama / crime thriller "The Deep End" looks fantastic on the new hi-def format, but delve beneath the surface and you’re left to wonder why this film, of everything from Tilda Swinton’s catalogue, should be trotted out for re-release on the home video market.

Simply put, this is a bad movie: Poor pacing, poor plotting, terrible dialogue and lousy performances to match. The only thing blockier than the story beats are the caricatures the film trades in.

Swinton plays a mother of three whose eldest son, Beau (Jonathan Tucker) has been embroiled in a gay love affair with a seedy club owner (Josh Lucas). Goran Visnjic ("ER") fails to launch a film career with the role of a tough guy who’s not so tough, and who ends up being the family’s protector. Money, accidental death, blackmail, a sex video... it all gets swirled up into a potboiler that never actually boils because the film is so fussily concerned with obtaining a cool, noirish sensibility. (It fails.) Less tawdry than tedious, "The Deep End" could happily have remained in cinematic oblivion.

The extras are nothing special and are blearily lo-def. The "Anatomy of a Scene" Sundance Channel Featurette does offer some interesting tidbits about the film’s lineage, though: "The Deep End" was drawn from a 1947 novel, "The Blank Wall," by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding, and was first filmed in 1949 under the title "The Reckless Moment." There’s also a Making-Of featurette and audio commentary by the directors, who also co-wrote and produced the film.

Swinton completists may enjoy seeing her put on an American accent and attempt to play a woman far less capable than the actress herself usually is, and anybody who remembers Visnjic will enjoy a flashback dose of eye-candy while marveling at how his film career fizzles right here before them.


"The Deep End"
Blu-ray
$16.99
www.foxconnect.com/the-deep-end.html

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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