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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jeff Bridges
Kim Basinger
Jon Foster .
Directors
Tod Williams.
Screenwriters
Running Time
111 minutes

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The Door In The Floor
Compelling and thoughtful adaptation of the first half of John Irving's Widow For One Year.


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Plot
Eccentric children's writer Ted Cole (Bridges) and his wife Marion (Basinger) have been ripped apart by the deaths of their two sons. When aspiring author Eddie O'Hare (Foster) is employed as Ted's assistant one summer, he becomes their reluctant go-between.


Review
John irving's busy, quirky novels have proven tough to adapt for the big screen as there's often too much going on. Tod Williams deals with this by tackling only the first third of Irving's A Widow For One Year, his The Door In The Floor combining a coming-of-age tale with a cryptic study of how grief can dismantle a family.

In a sense, it's a detective story, with Eddie the wide-eyed outsider trying to figure out what happened to the Coles' sons, and why exactly Ted has hired him. Even the casting seems designed to wrongfoot. Jeff Bridges has the most likeable face in Hollywood: big, friendly and rumpled like an unmade bed. The sight of him shambling around in a tatty dressing gown, flashing his wry grin, recalls The Big LebowskiÆs The Dude, but Ted is a much trickier customer. Meanwhile, Basinger, whose beauty gets deeper and sadder with age, makes Marion glassy with grief and impossible to read.

Ruthlessly plotted and aching with emotional alienation, it's intelligent and intriguing, but frostier than The Ice Storm. Even the moments of sexual farce (Eddie is the unluckiest masturbator since Jim in American Pie) are more melancholy than funny. If you're in the mood, though, this better-than-the-book adaptation casts quite a spell.


Verdict
If you're in the mood, though, this better-than-the-book adaptation casts quite a spell.


Reviewed by Dorian Lynskey

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Average user rating for The Door In The Floor
Empire Star Rating

The Door in the Floor goes at its own pace, slow, wilfuly ponderous but never disengaging. Central to its success is a never better Bridges who imbues his character with a sense of immense warmth yet tragedy, being both selfish and endearing. Deep and soulful as well as very funny, the transition between the two is seemless. Williams is perhaps a little pretentious at times, lingering too long on certain frames as if to make sure that the audience appreciate the poignance of the material. In a s... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Grandma Death at 23:50, 01 April 2006 | Report This Post


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