Capsule Review: "The Deep End"

by Eric Melin on August 15, 2001

in Print Reviews

Here’s an early Oscar prediction. Tilda Swinton will be up for Best Actress next March for this wonderfully tense and original thriller.

I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say this doesn’t follow the normal plot of most murder stories. “The Deep End” continues to involve you further and further as Swinton gets deeper into a jam, and it’s her restrained performance (which never shows what she truly feels until the very end)that keeps you guessing her motives, while backing her choices up every step of the way.

This year has been a very good one for suspense movies that don’t follow the lame, tried-and-true plot formulas of most Hollywood pictures, and “The Deep End” fits in nicely with “With A Friend Like Harry” and “Sexy Beast.” All these films circumvent the normal trappings and plots for a more emotional approach, where the consequences of the character’s actions are scarily real.

The cinematography is fantastic, especially for a low-budget movie. Also, it succeeds as a family drama and almost even a love story. Murder and blackmail has seldom been portrayed so close to “average” family life, and never with such subtle powerfulness. I know this all tends to sound a bit too vague, but it’s hard to describe a film I really love with out giving anything away.

And, believe me, you won’t want to know too much about the specific plot points of “The Deep End.” Just go see it and enjoy.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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