Alternately tragic and comic, an exploration of the complexities of love in both its brightest and darkest corners. Adapted from John Irving's best-selling novel A Widow for One Year, the film is set in the privileged beach community of East Hampton, New York and chronicles one pivotal summer in the lives of famous children's book author Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges) and his beautiful wife Marion (Kim Basinger). Their once-great marriage has been strained by tragedy. Her resulting despondency and his subsequent infidelities have prevented the couple from confronting a much-needed change in their relationship. Eddie O'Hare, the young man Ted hires to work as his summer assistant, is the couple's unwitting yet willing pawn - and, ultimately, the catalyst in the transformation of their lives.Written by
The flashback scene in the car with the boys is supposed to take place during a heavy snow fall, and the back window and tail lights of the car are supposed to be covered with snow, but the window is completely clear. See more »
This film is being completely underrated by the score it was given, in my opinion. The film, The Door In The Floor, is so simple, effective, natural, and deep, that many may misunderstand it, because it just doesn't meet up to the sort of ambiance of a mainstream Hollywood film.
From it's score, to its characters, the film is quiet. It lets the story and characters speak for themselves, as it should. Even during the most dire moments in the film, like when Jeff Bridges is being chased (you have to see it to understand it), the score doesn't turn into a swinging beat, or anything too loud, or obnoxious. It stays quiet, but only to let the acting, pictures, and the developed story, guide it to such a beautiful point.
The writing in the film is probably the most brilliantly executed thing in the film, besides the acting, which will be discussed later. The structure is linear, real, and also theatrical, in that it successfully follows the Aristotlean method (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement), as does one of my personal favorite playwright's, Martin McDonagh, though he follows a much darker, and ironic template. One of the great things that the script allows the watcher to do is ask questions, and think for themselves. This isn't necessarily quite the film to relax during, and yet you can, but only if you're watching intently. There's a lot of symbolism described in the stories told by Jeff Bridges, and the dialogs between Jon Foster and Kim Basinger. But the symbolism doesn't hold the story down. The plot is fluently executed, but still with substance, and entertainment. The comedy is also something that I was quite fond of in the film, because it was realistic, and yet ridiculous all the same. Most of this is driven by the modesty of Jon Foster's character, and Jeff Bridges' arrogance.
This brings me to the acting. There are only so many films where it is clear that the director let the actors act naturally, and did what they felt was best for themselves, as characters. They seemed vulnerable, uncontrived, and still natural. There's no Hollywood acting in this film, not even Kim Basinger, which I was quite surprising. Kim's work normally falls along those lines in such films as Batman and LA Confidential. But she doesn't use her old techniques clearly here. She really is somebody else, and with no stupid yelps or screams (they seem so random and contrived I wanna puke sometimes). Jon Foster is especially impressive in his role. His vulnerability, and ease on the eyes make a great combination for him, and is something that I hope he holds on to for the extension of his career, no matter how long or short (hopefully it's long).
The photography, for some reason reminds me of Conrad Hall's work in American Beauty. It's so simple, and yet so effective, and gorgeous by the way. Every frame is essential to the essence of the film (pardon the redundancy, just seems right to say).
To sum everything up, this is a superb film, and I hope will bring Tod Williams more jobs as a director, so he can show the world what telling a story is really all about. And I hope to God that his screenplays are as good as this one was. And also, I hope that he works with Jeff Bridges more in his future films.
A fantastic work.
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