starring Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic, Jonathan Tucker, Peter Donat
screenplay by Scott McGehee & David Siegel, based on the short story "The Blank Wall" by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
directed by McGehee & Siegel
by Walter Chaw There is a moment at the very beginning of Scott McGehee and David Siegel's The Deep End wherein our maternal heroine Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) fills in a crossword puzzle line with "glacier." It is an early clue to Margaret's glacial temperament, the cool blue colour suffusions that dominate the film's lighting schemes, and, unfortunately, the feeling of icy detachment one experiences during the course of the film. The Deep End is neither a noir nor a Hitchcockian thriller, but rather a somewhat conventional, vaguely derivative Mildred Pierce-ian estrogen melodrama that plays a lot like a Lifetime bodice-ripper written by David Mamet. It is essentially a lifeless version of Blood Simple, complete with misunderstandings, extortion, and a hide-the-corpse intrigue inspired by the urge to protect a loved one. Not to say The Deep End is a bad film, exactly, rather it's a forgettable one that is remarkable only for its almost complete lack of distinction.