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The Door in the Floor (2004)

  Directed by: Tod Williams
Written by: John Irving, Tod Williams
Starring: Kim Basinger, Jeff Bridges, Elle Fanning, Jon Foster
Links: The Door in the Floor on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Mediocre but for one element" - a review by pearly

A beautiful large house by the water, a father who is a writer, a mother, and their gorgeous young daughter. But things are not perfect in this family, where the walls are covered with photographs of the two boys that used to be a part of the family, but no longer are. The Door in the Floor takes an in-depth look at this messed-up household.

Jeff Bridges plays Ted, the father, who comes across as quite eccentric but still with his head essentially screwed on straight. His wife Marion (Kim Basinger) is a little more out of it, and appears to be still in mourning for her sons. She leaves their daughter Ruth (Elle Fanning) in the care of Alice, their nanny (Bijou Phillips). Into the picture comes Eddie (Jon Foster), a young writer-to-be, who is Ted's apprentice for the summer, and who will shake up the house more than he realises.

And so it goes in this thriller-that's-not-really-a-thriller, where the story unfolds piece by piece, and you're not exactly sure where the whole thing is headed until a little bit later. It's that type of film. In fact, it is, in many ways, just a generic kinda thing, with not much to make it stand out from the crowd. The only thing that's really bumping it up a notch from the truly mediocre, is the cast.

Firstly, Bridges is brilliant. There are tinges of The Dude (his The Big Lebowski (1998) character), but this is a distinct character, and Bridges does wonderful things with him. Then there's Basinger, who seems to excel with these brooding, upset sort of characters. Your heart goes out to her (at first, anyway). The younger cast members also hold their own: Dakota Fanning's younger sister, Elle, begins to show evidence that there may be more than one talented young actress in that family, and Foster holds his own as the boy who walks into the eye of the storm.

The film is fairly well constructed and there's enough there to keep you interested throughout, but without these actor's talents, I cannot help but think that the film would have fallen fairly flat.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 31 Jan 2005

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