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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Door in the Floor (review)

“A sound like someone trying not to make a sound.” Four-year-old Ruth (Elle Fanning: Daddy Day Care) isn’t describing the shushed fury consuming the adults around her, but she might well be. Her parents’ marriage is collapsing, quietly and at long last, the strain of life-altering tragedy finally catching up to them, but they barely seem to notice, her father, Ted (a magnificent Jeff Bridges: Seabiscuit), embarking on yet another torrid affair, and her mother, Marion (still, expressive Kim Basinger: 8 Mile), seducing the teenage assistant (Jon Foster: Life as a House) Ted, a writer, has hired for the summer. Everyone knows everyone else’s secrets in this superb drama, which only serves to make it one of the most subtly suspenseful movies of the year: How does an anti-melodrama melodrama play itself out? Not in any way you expect.

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watch at home

MPAA: rated R for strong sexuality and graphic images, and language

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb

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