6.5/10
1,937
18 user 29 critic

The Door (2012)

An author forms a strange bond with her eccentric maid that will have a lasting effect on both women.

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

Magda Szabó (novel), István Szabó (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Emerenc
Martina Gedeck ... Magda
Károly Eperjes ... Tibor
Gábor Koncz Gábor Koncz ... Lieutenant Colonel
Enikö Börcsök Enikö Börcsök ... Sutu
Ági Szirtes Ági Szirtes ... Polett
Erika Marozsán ... Évike Grossmann
Ildikó Tóth Ildikó Tóth ... Doctor
Mari Nagy Mari Nagy ... Adél
Péter Andorai Péter Andorai ... Mr. Brodarics
Lajos Kovács Lajos Kovács ... Handyman
Csaba Pindroch Csaba Pindroch ... Emerenc's Nephew
Dénes Ujlaky Dénes Ujlaky ... Emerenc's Grandfather
Anna Szandtner Anna Szandtner ... Young Emerenc
Réka Tenki ... Emerenc's Mother
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Storyline

An author forms a strange bond with her eccentric maid that will have a lasting effect on both women.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When they speak of paprika it is mispronounced. Hungarians ALWAYS pronounce it with the stress on the PAP, PAP-rika. Only English speakers would say Pap-RIKA. See more »

Goofs

When Emernc and Magda are arguing about 'kitsch', Emernc stomps into the entryway and dumps the boot holding the umbrellas onto the floor. As she does, she is standing on a red rug, but when the camera angle switches to display the umbrellas and the boot, the rug is no where to be seen. As the camera shot switches, the rug is back. See more »

User Reviews

A fine film from a great European director
17 February 2013 | by liehtzuSee all my reviews

Szabo Istvan is not a contemplative filmmaker - which I don't really mean as an insult. A lot of "contemplative" filmmakers, at their worst, seem constipated more than anything (see some of the films of Szabo's younger countryman, Tarr Bela), whereas Szabo can achieve a forward propulsion that can at times be dazzling, as in the films with scenery-chewing actor Klaus Maria Brandeur that were the height of his international fame, or in "Being Julia." The director has a peculiar way of editing that has existed from his early Hungarian features ("Father," "25 Fireman's Street"); scenes often end abruptly, as though he had chopped the end off them, and then run to the next scene. This gives Szabos' films an odd rhythm that is alluring in his best work, but maddening and even incoherent in his less successful efforts.

"The Door" is not a peak; it is hardly a failure either. It shows the Szabo style at its best and worst. The dialogue is flung out by the actors, and can have the kind of hard brilliance that's found in the old screwball comedies (Helen Mirren, in what may be the best performance of her career as an astonishingly cantankerous old cleaning woman, has some especially hilarious insults and bitter, sour-faced advice-dispensing here), but much of it is also simply hard to catch. The movie keeps a fine, sprinting pace most of the way through. It only starts to crumble in the final quarter, at which point I admit I wasn't entirely sure what was going on. And here we have the failure of Szabo's films uncontemplative style. Watching his less successful films it is as if his producer has told him that he absolutely must clock in at under a certain time. "The Door" feels rushed; it hurries to the end, and suffers for it. One feels the same in other films directed by Szabo: "Taking Sides," which is gripping and interesting but finally frustrating, and the ambitious "Sunshine," which attempts to stuff Hungarian history from the late 19th century to the post-war era in under three hours.

Still, "The Door" is almost a great film from one of the last living European film directors of the old school. All of Szabo's work is worth seeking out. It's a shame that the few remaining filmmakers in the grand European style are marginalized - even when they make fine English-language movies with Oscar winners (see also Tavernier's "In the Electric Mist"), it's lucky if these see the light of day in most countries, while young "provocateurs" with nothing to say are lauded in the major festivals. And there's something at my local cinema titled "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters"...


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Details

Country:

Hungary | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 2012 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

The Door See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$871,494
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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