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Ulu Grosbard has directed this fine adult drama adapted from the best-selling novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Michelle Pfeiffer and Treat Williams portray Beth and Pat Cappadora, parents of three youngsters. On a trip to her high school reunion, Beth loses her three year old son in a busy hotel lobby. The boy is absent from the family for nine years, after which he is surprisingly returned to his birth family. This is just the bare bones of the plot. However, it is the touching performances of all of the principals which transcend the television movie-of-the-week sound of the plot.
Michelle Pfeiffer adds another moving performance to her gallery of roles. If the film had been released in the fall of 1998, as was originally planned, she might have had an Academy Award nomination. Treat Williams' role is less defined, but it is alway a pleasure to watch this under-used and under-rated actor. However, it is Jonathan Jackson and Ryan Merriman as the oldest son and the lost boy who make this such an emotionally satisfying drama. Whoopi Goldberg adds some needed humor to the serious proceedings as the detective assigned to the case.
Stephen Schiff, writer for the New Yorker, has done a lean adaptation of the novel. Grosbard has unpretentiously directed this fine cast. "The Deep End of the Ocean" is one of the best contemporary dramas to come along in quite a while.
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