is adapted from The Blank Wall, a novel by Elisabeth
Sanxay Holding. As the producers, writers and directors, David
Siegel and Scott McGehee wear three different hats on this
production. They change not only the World War Two setting of
the novel to contemporary times, but also the sex of the child
from female to male. Now instead of a heterosexual relationship
involving a daughter and a man, we are faced with a homosexual
relationship. This change brings an interesting twist to the
film but may not be necessary in a movie with so many subplots.
is centered on a Lake Tahoe family and more specifically,
Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton). Margaret has just discovered that
her son Beau is gay and confronts his lover Darby Reese (Josh
Lucas). The same night as the confrontation Darby comes to
Beauís (Jonathon Tucker) home. The two have a fight and black
eyed Beau leaves Darby on the dock. The next morning Margaret
discovers Darbyís body and immediately assumes that her son is
his killer. In order to protect Beau she throws the body into a
boat and takes it onto the lake for disposal. The body is
discovered the same day that a stranger in black shows up
demanding money with a videotape of Beau and Darby together.
stranger is Alek Spera (Goran Visnjic) who for some reason takes
pity on Margaret when he realizes that she canít come up with
the sum of money requested. While being blackmailed and dealing
with the fact that her son is gay and may be a murderer,
Margaret, whose husband is unreachable at sea, and whose
father-in-law has a massive heart attack, begins to fall for
bewildering? It is. A problem arises when the characters have
too many issues to deal with confusing the audience. Margaret
has gone from a fairly simple family woman to a character
dealing with homosexuality, murder, and feelings for a dashing
stranger. Thatís a triple threat if Iíve ever heard of
one. While dealing with these different themes the filmmakers
leave a number of holes in their script. We not only donít fully
understand who the people are that want money from the Halls,
but also why, or how they expect this family to have the money
readily available. Why is the husband unreachable while on a
navy aircraft carrier? And how does Alek, a debt collector from
Reno, become softened by this housewife?
Swinton is given a plateful of emotions to express and does it
successfully. Goran Visnjic seems out of place as the bad guy,
but is believable as the love interest. I was most impressed
with Josh Lucas as Darby. Youíll recognize him now as Jake,
Reese Witherspoonís love interest in
Sweet Home Alabama. His character comes across
chillingly as Lucas delivers his lines coolly. He is the most
evil character in the movie even with little screen time,
because he is so slick.
filmmakers made a scenically engaging movie with a haunting
score. Lake Tahoe, full of vibrant colors and natural beauty, is
a great backdrop for this film. David Siegel and Scott McGehee
really wanted to get across a feeling that everything in the
movie comes back to, or is somehow related to water. Most things
of any significance in the film are blue, and any time there is
a scene change it is done in some way using water. I would argue
that this filmís greatest success is getting across this notion.
Unfortunately I was left feeling lost at sea.
is full of beautiful colors that are delivered nicely in the
widescreen format. The Score is eerie and offsets the beauty of
Lake Tahoe nicely. Overall, this is a striking presentation of
audio tracks: English
5.1 Surround, English
Dolby Surround, and French
by David Siegel and Scott McGehee: I like the commentary for the
DVD. As the directors, writers, and producers, David Siegel and
Scott McGehee are well suited to give in depth behind the scene
remarks. They give many interesting insights into the film
including the screenwriting itself, location selection, casting,
Anatomy of a Scene (Sundance Channel): This is nice to have
included, but much of the information from the Commentary is
Featurette: The Featurette includes more observations from the
cast members and staff of The Deep End. Unfortunately
these are nothing more than repeats if you have watched the
other special features of the DVD.
Trailer: The trailer makes the movie look more exciting than it
Review: This is a television spot promoting the movie and
includes some reviews it received.
This includes trailers for other Fox films.
features that are common to any DVD released today; Iím not sure
why this is dubbed a "Special Edition DVD." The directors state
in their commentary that there was a lot of extra footage that
wasn't used. I feel that extra footage and deleted scenes are
what make the DVD experience truly different from that of VHS.
Unless you absolutely love this movie it isnít worth buying.
Rent it instead.