The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.
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There has always been an interest in the back of my mind somewhere for English theatre and early to mid 1900’s Europe. I loved Midnight in Paris so much because that would be a top three genie’s wish for me, to make that trip back in time. So when I saw that Tom Hiddleston, born and raised in England studying acting and classic humanities, was in such a genre film, I jumped at the chance to fulfill my interests. Hiddleston is best known [in this country] for playing the antagonist Loki in Thor and The Avengers. He landed the original role in Thor after working with director Kenneth Branaugh, another classic enthusiast, in some British TV productions. Hiddleston has always had a connection to classic theatre, and I’ve been waiting to see a non-comic book film of his, both in the past and the future.
Directed and written by Terrence Davies, The Deep Blue Sea is based of the play by the same name, written by Terrence Rattigan, and is the story of love and love affairs around the 1950’s. Rachel Weisz stars as Hester Collyer, wife of Sir William Collyer, played by Simon Russell Beale, who falls for a young former RAF pilot [Hiddleston]. Hester struggles in both relationships, finding the highs of love and the lows of regret, and even attempts suicide. It’s really an awesome performance by Weisz, who got left out of a lot of award talk this year but was recognized by TIME magazine as the 4th best performance of 2012 and New York Magazine who named it the “Film Performance of the Year (2012)”.
The film uses a timely lighting scheme that reminds me of old PBS specials, a soft backlight with heavy contrast; I really loved it, gave me a little blast from the past. The pace was a little too deliberate and slow for my liking, featuring an opening scene that I really disliked, dragging along for a few minutes too long paired with a score that didn’t seem to fit the visual style at all. The performances were great, but the content needed some sort of kick to really hold my attention, but fortunately the film only runs for 98 minutes, a rare luxury in this day and age. It also ends with a cool little deja-vu.
2.5/4 – A good looking and well-casted romance/drama in the 1950’s, The Deep Blue Sea has great performances [especially Rachel Weisz] but falls a little flat in it’s content and slow pace.