The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.
Terence Davies wanted Rachel Weisz for the part of Hester Collyer after he noticed her and her "incredible talent" in Amy Foster (1997). He called his agent to meet Weisz, who he hadn't heard of before seeing her in that film, saying "Have you ever heard of this girl Rachel Weisz?". His agent joked him by answering "She's an Oscar winner!". Weisz laughs at this by saying "I don't think Terence (Davies) knows very well anyone who's not in a black and white film". See more »
Let me give you a case: Jack loves Jill, Jill loves Jack. But Jack doesn't love Jill in the same way. Jack never asked to be loved.
And what about Jill?
That's Jill's hard luck! I can't be bloody Romeo all the time!
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"Love, that's all." (Hester responds to her husband when he asks her what happened.)
No film in recent memory is as depressing as The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Davies' adaptation of Terence Rattigan's play. In either venue, the story of Lady Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) and her infidelity will sear your brain in recognition of the perfect storm of love and lust sung to the tune of 1950's conservatism, which largely meant staying with a spouse regardless if it's a loveless marriage.
Freddie (Tom Hiddleston), a WWII Brit flyboy, hasn't graduated yet from the romance of that war to the responsibilities of true love in civilian life. Hester unfortunately is ripe for romance with him as her older husband, a high court judge and a peer, is caring but far too reserved to provide a tender woman with the love she needs.
This is a simple film of measured speech in the tradition of West End thespian greatness. Unlike the orderly upper class, love is not simple but rather messy. In the claustrophobia of her apartments, either beautifully appointed with Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale) or bare with Freddie, Hester is always waiting, either for her husband to love her or her lover to stay with her. Ironically Sir William is waiting, too, with love taking its measure of despair from those who love. As for charming Freddie, he is exuberant, careless, and destructfully self-centered.
Davies and Rattigan intercut between times to make The Deep Blue Sea seem just that: fragmented and deeply melancholic. Yet despite the incoherence, you'll not see a better acting trio this year. Where the play lacks vibrancy or heart, the actors give it their best.
When Freddie consoles Hester upon leaving her with this cliché, "Never too late to start again, isn't that what they say?" he is also hitting the center of her tragedyshe is so passive that this may be the first and last adventure she will ever have.
All that's left is the estranging deep blue sea:
Who ordered that their longing's fire Should be as soon as kindled, cooled?
Who renders vain their deep desire?
A God, a God their severance ruled!
And bade betwixt their shores to be The unplumbed salt, estranging sea.
Matthew Arnold, "To MargueriteContinued"
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