Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel
Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic
A Tahoe mom goes to extraordinary lengths to protect her family in this contemporary adaptation of the source novel for The Reckless Moment (1949).
Margaret Hall: Mr. Reese, I want you to stay away from my son.
Tilda Swinton plays Margaret Hall, a Navy wife holding down the fort at home while her husband works on an aircraft carrier. When she attempts to cover up what believes to be her son Beau’s murder of his sleazy lover, she’s plunged into a world no ordinary housewife is prepared to comprehend or navigate. A thug named Alec Spera shows up at the house with some incriminating evidence of Beau’s relationship with the murder victim and a demand for $50,000 in 24 hours. Otherwise, the evidence goes to the police.
The first filmed adaptation of Elizabeth Sanxay-Holding’s The Blank Wall, Max Ophuls’ The Reckless Moment (1949) was released in an era where the assumptions about family and marriage were very different. Setting the same story in 2001 requires some drastic shifts in casting and plot, and directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel succeed beautifully with The Deep End. Tilda Swinton has a lean intensity that makes the lengths to which Margaret is willing to go seem believable, even inevitable. Margaret is less a victim than a formidable woman backed into a corner. Goran Visnjic is convincingly ambivalent as Alec, whose respect for Margaret grows as each hour passes.
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