The Deep End

The first feature of academically minded American indies Scott McGehee and David Siegel was an odd black-and-white ‘Scope thriller predicated on film theory (Suture, 1993). This one is a remake of Max Ophuls’s potent 1949 melodrama The Reckless Momentupdated in some of its gender politics and its fancy water imagery, and watchable enough on its own terms, but not a patch on the original. A housewife, mother, and all-around workhorse in Lake Tahoe (Tilda Swinton) finds she has to cope with a blackmailer (Goran Visnjic) after her gay son appears to have committed a murder that she decides to cover up. This starts off like a Claude Chabrol fable about the criminal impulses needed to preserve a bourgeois home and winds up a would-be love story; it holds one’s interest, but all of it’s been conceived at one remove. 99 min. (JR)

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