Movie Review - The Deep Blue Sea

Because this time of year is Oscar season, I've been going through various titles that have been put into contention through the attention of top film critics or industry groups like, dare I say, the Golden Globes. This film won't be up for Best Picture. The only talk has gone for Rachel Weisz possibly for Best Actress. Weisz has won the Academy Award for The Constant Gardener (2005). She is a tremendous performer and her work here is similarly so. Her character is tragic and heartbreaking, and Weisz delivers it perfectly.

Rachel Weisz plays Hester Page, a woman living in 1950s London, and at the start of the film we hear operatic, string music, mostly a violin. It's clear that in this start Hester is ready to die. Hester in fact tries to commit suicide. The question is why. The movie jumps back to the time leading up to the suicide attempt and then it moves forward through the brief time after the attempt.

Tom Hiddleston (War Horse and Thor) plays Freddie Page, the man whom Hester loves. Despite having the same last name, Freddie isn't Hester's husband. Freddie is the affair that Hester is having. The problem is that Freddie doesn't have as much money or wealth as Hester's husband, William, but it's probably because William is older. Freddie most likely would become William if given a couple of decades.

Writer-director Terence Davies, adapting the play by Terence Rattigan, seems to be making a point about the pre-war generation and the post-war generation. Hester is a woman in the middle of a time that probably correlates to what American women in this time were facing. American women were moving into the 1960s, the beginning of Women's Liberation and the Sexual Revolution. Yet, Hester is still very much buttoned up and any suggestion that she might differ from that is met with criticism, harsh criticism, particularly from her mother-in-law.

There is a bit of a problem because I wasn't sure why hester married William in the first place. I assume for money, status or some kind of financial security. I also wasn't sure why she leaves him. Again, I assume that she got sick of the sexual repression, but clearly William is a good man who gets angry once he learns of the affair but still comes to her aid when she needs help.

He's older but William is still handsome. He's a sweet and caring man who when it comes to sex could have been just as good as Freddie. We never see Hester try with William, so there's no real sense of Hester and William's relationship. While it's the focus, I don't get Hester and Freddie's relationship all that much either, so her suicide attempt ultimately had me baffled.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for a scene of sexuality and nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 38 mins.


  1. Good review Marlon. The story is pretty dry, but the cast is what makes this work, especially Weisz who may not be the most lovable person of the bunch, but you still feel somewhat bad for. Somewhat, is the word of the day.


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