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The Deep End (2001)

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, more...
Director: Scott McGehee, Scott McGehee, David Siegel, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Drama, Independent, Crime
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

A mother is drawn into a sinister web of blackmail while trying to protect her son in this drama. Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) is a wife and mother of three living in Lake Tahoe, whose husband is a Naval officer stationed in the Atlantic ocean. Margaret's oldest son, teenaged Beau (Jonathan Tucker), is gay and has become involved with Darby (Josh Lucas), a disreputable older man whom Margaret does not trust. Margaret confronts Darby and tells him to stay away from her son, but Darby isn't easily dissuaded, and he comes by the house late one night, leading to a fight between Beau and Darby. The next morning, Margaret discovers Darby's body on the beach, with an anchor piercing his chest. Not sure what to do, Margaret hauls Darby's body out to sea, and dumps it where she hopes it will not be found. Margaret tries to get her life back to normal, until a man named Alek (Goran Visnjic) appears at her door. Alek appears to know something about Darby's death, and he definitely knows about Beau's relationship with him; in fact, he has a videotape of Beau and Darby having sex, and he's prepared to make it public unless she'll pay him $50,000. Margaret is in no position to pay the money, but is desperate to protect her son and attempts to reason with Alek. Surprisingly enough, in time it works, and Alek withdraws his request for blackmail money. However, Nagle (Raymond Barry), a local crime boss whom Alek works for, is not nearly so generous. The Deep End was adapted from a novel by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding, The Blank Wall, which was previously filmed by Max Ophuls as The Reckless Moment. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

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GreenCine Member Reviews

Give it a 10 for Lake Tahoe by funnytoo October 15, 2012 - 11:58 AM PDT
& a 5 for the move. Unfortunately, the whole film is given away by the plot summary and truly nothing is left to the imagination. See it for the scenery, the handsome Goran and if you like Tilda, I guess it's on your list already anyway. She has perfected that tragically miserable persona & in this one she's at her best. As to the beautiful Lake, here is your chance to see what it is so famous for: clear enough to see a dead body, don't know at what depth, but still neat.
Perhaps noteworthy is the lovely Corvette and an extremely awkward gay sex scene, but, perhaps not.

crap by wes2666 September 29, 2004 - 9:14 PM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A paint-by-numbers thriller whose characters all behave absurdly (both practically and emotionally) in order to advance the plot. If you try to trace motivations a step beyond what we see on screen, they fall apart completely. The best conceit of the film, setting a thriller on the cusp of a teen's coming out, is barely addressed and just serves to construct a really lame MacGuffin. Not badly acted but Swinton and company were working from poor material. Also, the film is full of distracting and pretentious water metaphors that go nowhere.

I always hold my nose when I dive off by RRappuhn August 4, 2004 - 1:30 PM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
the deep end...

I am ambivalent about this movie.
To be sure, Tilda Swinton is marvelous, but excepting Goran Visnjic and his partner in crime, I have not a bit of interest in any of the other characters...

Examined from, perhaps a sick sort of codependent/nuerotic mother/son relationship, I cannot fathom why she would go to the trouble she did for the petulant/know it all son ( I found him repugnant and completely unwatchable ); hell, he does not know she is doing these things for him and
he, seems to me, seeing Goran and her together, thinks that she is 'cheating' on the father.

The entire matter, seems to me again, easily averted by going to the police admitting connections and letting the thing just run its course, so maybe the brat does not get the scholarship and who really cares if the SPOILER.....

poor kid had a starring role in a film of sodomy, for all I know, the kid knew it was being filmed...but perhaps this is the premise of these types of plots, fear of self manufactured consequences (although she did say something about the father not being able to understand...)

ah hell, it is probably worth seeing for her performance alone, if you do not mind watching a codependent in action...and each time I think about that pychosis, I wonder if the film should be taken as some horrible parable of nonresponsibility...or neurotic responsibility

open to change my mind though...

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.16)
180 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2001
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Movies I've Never Seen.
A list of many great movies that I've yet to see, a couple that I've already seen, and some not so great ones. Everything that's on my queue - watch them with me!

see all lists

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