Review of Door in the Floor, The
So here we go with another region 1 release which is not yet out at the cinema in the UK. This film will be released in a few weeks, but has already been available in region 1 for about a month.
The Door in the Floor is an adaptation of the opening section of John Irving`s novel A Widow For One Year. It tells the story of Ted and Marion Cole (Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger), and their daughter Ruthie (Elle Fanning). Ted is "an entertainer of children", writing and illustrating books. Marion spends all her time battling with the death of their two sons.
Ted decides to hire an assistant, who bears more than a passing resemblance to one of their dead sons. How will he cope with spending time with this messed up family?
A 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer greets us on this disc. It`s a pretty good transfer and is very much as you would expect from such a recent film. It`s largely clean and tidy but there`s nothing spectacular about it in terms of the technical quality of the image.
The cinematography definitely adds a little edge to the film. This is not a bright and sunny world that the characters live in, and the swimming pool that Ted hopes to get in the garden would seem like it`s not going to get much use. The pallette is muted for most of the film, but this is entirely intentional.
A DD5.1 soundtrack, which is perfectly adequate. This isn`t a boom and bang blockbuster, so the soundtrack is largely dialogue. The score chirps in now and again to add mood to the film, and there are also one or two modern songs which are used to intentionally jar the viewer now and again.
First up we have a commentary track featuring writer/director Tod Williams and various members of the crew. If you`ve enjoyed the film then you`ll probably want a listen to this track, although it`s a bit dry at times.
Next up we have the featurettes. "Frame on the Wall" is a making-of type feature, which covers most of the process of making the film, all squashed into about 25 minutes. It`s quite interesting, but nothing ground breaking. Kim Basinger seems a bit distant whenever she talks about the film, can`t put my finger on why that is.
"Novel to Screen" features the author John Irving talking about the adaptation of part of his book, and his thoughts on the film. This lasts around 15 minutes.
Finally we have "Anatomy of a Scene" a Sundance Channel (US Cable channel from the people behind the Sundance film festival) feature which concentrates on a series of scenes in the film. It`s sort of designed for people who haven`t seen the film, but there are some spoilers, and if you have seen the film then it doesn`t really go into enough detail about the scenes for my liking.
An interesting film, coupled with good performances from the leads (young and old). It`s probably not the sort of film that you`d want to watch over and over again, but it`s certainly an interesting character study, despite some of the feelings of frustration you`re left with during the film. I don`t think I`d watch it again, but I`m glad that I watched it once.
And given the fact that it`s released on region 1 DVD before the UK cinema release, you can import from your favourite region 1 retailer and watch it at home rather than going out to an over-priced, not-very-well-cared-for local flea pit where others can spoil your enjoyment.
This is a recommendation for renting (or buying and selling on straight away) then, as it`s not the sort of film you`ll want to keep. The DVD itself is a reasonable package with good picture and sound and some mildly diverting extras.