Deep End

Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas
Directors: Scott McGehee; David Siegel

Searching for material to turn into movies, THE DEEP END is taken from the novel THE BLANK WALL by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding written in 1947. How does a novel whose main premise is that a mother will do anything to protect her children translate into the moral values and parenting of today?

With the still waters of Lake Tahoe as an indication of how life is, ripples soon develop that will shake things up a bit. At the start of the movie we find Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) telling Darby Reese (John Lucas) a 30 something guy who works in a club to stay away from her son. It soon becomes apparent why. Her seventeen year old son Beau (Jonathan Tucker) is having an affair with Darby and not one to be bullied by some kid’s mother, Darby pays a late night call to the family’s lake side home. Meeting in the boathouse, Darby makes advances on Beau who pushes him away and they have a fight. Running back to the house, Margaret finds Beau in a distressed state but he does not tell her why. In the meantime, walking away from the boathouse, Darby accidentally slips into the water, hitting his head as he falls in.

The next morning, Margaret finds Darby’s body and decides to dump his body somewhere else so as not to attract attention to her family’s business. Margaret would only have wished that things were that easy as she is then paid a visit by Alek Spera (Goran Visnjic) who has a proposal for her. Alek has a copy of a videotape showing Darby and Beau together which Alek will pass on to the cops unless Margaret can come up with $50,000 in 24 hours.

While the story at times seems ludicrous, it’s the story twists and top-notch performances from Swinton and Visnjic that actually make this watchable. Margaret Hall is a mother who has to sort out life’s problems at every turn while her husband who is a naval officer, is mostly out of contact at sea, so no one knows how hard her job really is. Visnjic plays the blackmailer who actually listens to Margaret’s problems and feels pity for her.

4 out of 6 stars