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The Door In The Floor

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: The Door In The Floor

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger
Director: Tod Williams
Rated: R
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: July 2004
Genre: Drama


*Also starring: Mimi Rogers, Bijou Phillips, Elle Fanning, LeAnna Croom, Jon Foster, Donna Murphy, John Rothman, Kristina Valada-Viars, Carter Williams



Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Based on the first portion of John Irving's 1998 best-seller, "A Widow for One Year," this is the story of an emotionally ravaged couple coping with the death of their two teenage sons in a tragic automobile accident. They still have a young daughter, but their marriage has fallen apart.

Set in the beach community of East Hampton, New York, the plot chronicles one pivotal summer when a Eddie (Jon Foster), a 16 year-old prep school student, comes to work as an assistant to children's book author Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges) and moves in with the estranged family, including Cole's wife Marion (Kim Basinger) and their precocious four year-old (Elle Fanning). Inexorably, Eddie is drawn into their perverse angst, becoming a reluctant witness to Ted's rampant infidelity and discovering his own sexuality as Marion blatantly seduces him.

Since the Coles are totally self-centered, erratic and hedonistic, leaving other people's shattered lives in their wake, writer/director Tod Williams has astutely cast two distinctly likable actors: Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger. Exuding a roguish charm, Bridges cleverly captures Ted's callously manipulative promiscuity, while Basinger embodies Marion's sad, enigmatic fragility.

An artist in his off-screen life, Bridges' own drawings personalize his performance as an illustrator, as he delves into the dark, complex, multi-layered and intricately constructed narrative, which is sensitively photographed by Terry Stacey. The stalwart supporting cast includes Jon Foster, Elle Fanning (Dakota's little sister), Mimi Rogers and Bijou Phillips. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Door in the Floor" is a strange, provocative, sordid 7, examining how two people deal with a devastating tragedy, each in a different way.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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