thatcow

Tight drama

There are movies that unfold like coils. The Deep End is one of those movies that keeps the coil pretty tight. In some ways, it reminds me of Hitchcock or the Coen brother's Blood Simple.

Tilda Swinton plays Margaret Hall. Margaret is an Uber Mom. Her husband is a naval officer away on duty. Her father-in-law lives with the family on Lake Tahoe. Margaret's oldest son is a tremendously talented high school student likely headed to a prestigous liberal arts school. He alos is gay. The Deep End is not so much about Margaret's reaction to Beau's sexuality, but her need to protect here son. Beau's been involved with an older, sleazier man. Margaret offers to pay the man to stay away from her son. Of course this arrangement doesn't play well on the home front. Beua's boyfriend shows up at their lakeside home. During a heated conversation, Beau shoves Darby and runs from the boat house. Darby has fallen on a boat anchor and has punctured his lung. He dies alone on the beach front. Margaret discovers the body and decides to dump it in the lake. A mysterious man shows up a couple of days later wanting to black mail Margaret with scenes of Beau and Darby. The story unfolds with sharper turns and more twists.

The Deep End is from the same team that did Suture. They put a lot of detail in their screenplays and fill the shots with interesting images. McGehee and Siegel use water motifs throughout the movie. In one very inventive shot, a water droplet has formed on the kitchen faucet and it nearly fills the screen. Through the droplet, we see the inverted image of a door opening in the background.

Tilda Swinton is exceptional in this movie. She looks a little like Julianne Moore in this role, but brings a different presence. Swinton is angular and attractive, but not glamorous. This works for her in the Deep End (as it did for her stunning role in Orlando). Ultimately, the Deep End is another examination of motherhood and how far mothers will go to protect their families.

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