Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

USA, 2001, 99 min

Shown in 2001


Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Giles Nuttgens
Lauren Zuckerman
Peter Nashel
Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat


Fox Searchlight Pictures, 10201 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035. FAX: 310-369-7402


Scott McGehee, David Siegel in person.
The Deep End

The Deep End brings film noir into the light of day—not just any light, but the blazing sunlight of Lake Tahoe, where Tilda Swinton plays Margaret, a mother driven to desperation by her love for her son. Scott McGehee and David Siegel (Suture, SFIFF 1994) are cinephiles who convert their cinematic objects of affection into brand new films, instead of just swooning in darkened theaters like the rest of us. In this case, their fetish object is one of Max Ophuls’ greatest films, The Reckless Moment (based on a 1947 novel, The Blank Wall, by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding). They’ve updated its details by ingeniously imagining what might endanger a teen so much nowadays that murder and blackmail would come into play: Change the child in danger from a headstrong daughter to a confused gay son on the brink of acceptance to Wesleyan. Toss in a gnarly video to incriminate him. Then send Tilda Swinton into the brink, though her dunking in Tahoe’s depths is nothing compared to the emotional depths into which this cool melodrama tosses her. Swinton’s mesmerizing performance shows her at the top of her form—she’s just terrific. What clinches The Deep End’s success is the brilliant CinemaScope camerawork, which shapes the Tahoe landscapes into sheer poetry, imposes tension on details as simple as a drop of water slowly escaping the tap, and sends us hurtling into the deep end ourselves.

—B. Ruby Rich

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