The Deep End

The Deep End

2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5 out of 5 2.5

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The Deep End traces the journey a mother must make in order to protect her son from harm. “She’s a mom, not a moron.” So says Darby (Josh Lucas) to his young lover Beau (Jonathan Tucker), assuring the teen that his mother, Margaret (Tilda Swinton), is well aware of the fact that her son is gay. The lascivious Darby is a club-hopping 30-year-old, warned by Margaret to keep away from her talented son. Hours later, after a fight with Beau in Margaret’s boathouse, Darby accidentally kills himself when he falls off a boardwalk and is impaled by a boat’s anchor. The Deep End is an otherwise moody procedural, detailing how Margaret goes about hiding Darby’s corpse in the water surrounding her lakeside home. As Margaret’s father-in-law Jack, Peter Donat does little but sit around until his character’s heart attack puts another kink in Margaret’s master plan. Margaret’s blackmailer (Goran Visnjic) had demanded $50,000 for his silence but happens to walk in on Margaret giving Jack CPR and ends up sympathizing with the superwoman. This otboiler doesn’t work very well as melodrama (the film is a remake of Max Ophüls’s superior The Reckless Moment though in adding the element of homosexuality, co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel evoke Margaret’s struggle to keep her son safe but how she quietly negotiates his sexuality. Margaret and Beau never address the issue of his homosexuality, and as such The Deep End works less as a bona fide thriller than a does as the earnest story of how a mother and son grapple with a difficult moment in their relationship without growing apart.

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DVD
Distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Runtime
99 min
Rating
R
Year
2001
Director
Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Screenwriter
Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Cast
Tilda Swinton, Gordon Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat, Josh Lucas, Raymond J. Barry, Tamara Hope, Jordon Dorrance, Margo Krindel