Door in the Floor

The Door in the Floor

4.0 1
Director: Tod Williams

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster

     
 

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The best extra on the DVD release of Tod Williams' The Door in the Floor is a 15-minute featurette in which author John Irving goes into some detail about the differences between novels and movies. While some of what he says is fairly obvious, the author does offer some nuggets of wisdom that any writer should find helpful. The film itself is presented in a

Overview

The best extra on the DVD release of Tod Williams' The Door in the Floor is a 15-minute featurette in which author John Irving goes into some detail about the differences between novels and movies. While some of what he says is fairly obvious, the author does offer some nuggets of wisdom that any writer should find helpful. The film itself is presented in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. The DVD also offers a commentary track recorded by Williams and a variety of people from his crew. He is full of praise for his actors. This is a solid release, but it should be made clear that those with an interest in reading the novel on which the film is based should do so before taking in the extra materials on this disc.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Adapted from a John Irving novel -- or rather, the first third of A Widow for One Year -- this provocative drama provides Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger the best roles they’ve had in years. Emotionally complex and, in spots, profoundly unsettling, The Door in the Floor tackles the dissolution of a troubled marriage with unusual intelligence and sophistication. Famous author Ted Cole (Bridges) and his wife, Marion (Basinger), have all the material comforts conducive to easy living, but they just aren’t getting along. Neither has ever really recovered from the death of their two sons in a car crash, and Ted copes with the diminution of Marion’s passion for him by engaging in a series of affairs. One summer, he hires a 16-year-old student named Eddie as an assistant, and the precocious teen immediately becomes attracted to Mrs. Cole -- who, in turn, is drawn to the boy because he resembles her oldest son. As presented by director Tod Williams, the story is rife with ambiguity; at one point it seems fairly obvious that Ted is pushing Marion to have an affair with Eddie, perhaps out of some cruel, sadistic fascination. Bridges plays the brilliant author as extremely manipulative, and therefore engenders little audience sympathy. Basinger, on the other hand, is achingly vulnerable as the emotionally wounded wife and mother who finds herself being drawn into an untenable relationship, partly out of sexual longing and partly out of an unhealthy attraction based on the boy’s resemblance to her dead son. There are no pat resolutions to the clearly defined narrative quandaries. While certainly not for all tastes, The Door in the Floor exhibits a sensibility that bears comparison to some of the best European-made dramas of recent years. It’s totally unlike any Hollywood film we’ve seen this year, an intellectually engaging slice of two very troubled lives.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Films adapted from novels have a tendency toward the Frankenstein-like messiness of stitched-together parts. The Door in the Floor is messy, but in a good way. Writer/director Tod Williams, who demonstrated a flair for this type of screwed-up family drama with his debut film, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, wisely chose to adapt only the first part of John Irving's novel A Widow for One Year. This allows him to take his time with the story, with enough space for the small but telling details that might be jettisoned in attempting to convey the entire work, which spans over three decades. The Door in the Floor essentially covers one summer in the lives of these characters, but it's an eventful summer, and the film manages to convey the novel's emotional complexity with a sharply witty script, with bright, open visuals that counterbalance the essential darkness and internality of the tale, and with fine performances. Unsurprisingly, Jeff Bridges is superb, and it's always gratifying to see him tackle a role this prickly, that works against the sense of comfort and ease he generally instills in an audience. The Door in the Floor is not about judgments of right and wrong, but about smart and tragically flawed human beings and how they deal with trauma and grief. The ending of the film is a bit too pat, suggesting a sense of closure that the novel obviously does not provide, but overall it is a fine work, and a step forward for a talented young filmmaker.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
Surely the best movie yet made from Mr. Irving's fiction. It may even belong in the rarefied company of movies that are better than the books on which they are based.
Los Angeles Times
Bridges turns a two-dimensional image into a presence so vital, so filled with breath and blood, that you uneasily fall in love with his character and abandon all thought of the artifice that's brought it to life. Manohla Dargis

Product Details

Release Date:
12/14/2004
UPC:
0025192500022
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
R
Source:
Focus Features
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
49,477

Special Features

Feature commentary with director Tod Williams and production team; "Author John Irving: From Novel to Screen"; Anatomy of a Scene; "The Making of the Door in the Floor"

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeff Bridges Ted Cole
Kim Basinger Marion Cole
Jon Foster Eddie O'Hare
Mimi Rogers Eleanor Vaughn
Elle Fanning Ruth Cole
Bijou Phillips Alice
Louis Arcella Eduardo Gomez

Technical Credits
Tod Williams Director,Screenwriter
Anne Carey Producer
Michael Corrente Producer
Eric Daman Costumes/Costume Designer
Therese DePrez Production Designer
Affonso Goncalves Editor
Ann Goulder Casting
Ted Hope Producer
Amy J. Kaufman Executive Producer
Nicholas Lundy Art Director
Tod A. Maitland Sound Editor
Roger Marino Executive Producer
Marisa Polvino Co-producer
Beth Amy Rosenblatt Musical Direction/Supervision
Chip Signore Asst. Director
Terry Stacey Cinematographer
Marcelo Zarvos Score Composer
John Irving Source Author

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound
3. Marion, Waiting
4. A Masturbating Machine
5. Not So Fast, Abernathy
6. Come Hither...
7. The Door in the Floor
8. The Pawn
9. The Inadequate Lampshade
10. Nocturnal Animals
11. God Damn It, I Love This Song!
12. Leaving Long Island
13. Specific Details
14. Dumping Mrs. Vaughn
15. The Authority of the Written Word
16. Something Almost Biblical
17. A Motherless Child
18. The Leg
19. Down the Hatch
20. End Titles

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The Door in the Floor 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another fantastic movie that had slip through the cracks of greatness due to uncomfortable content. A few recent films have treated the dysfunction attendant upon the death of a child to a loving couple. A movie or two has also touched on the sexual relationship between an older woman and a younger man. `Door in the Floor,' based on John Irving's novel `Widow for a Year,' combines both subjects in a sometimes disturbing, always absorbing screenplay that has a superlative performance by Jeff Bridges and an excellent turn by Kim Basinger. Since `The Graduate,' the possibility in films of a younger man/older woman theme has become as acceptable as the traditional reverse. In writer/director Tod Williams' (`The Adventures of Sebastian Cole') `Door in the Floor,' the young 16-year-old Eddie is played by Jon Foster (`Life as a House') with an annoying lack of charisma and animation. However, Kim Basinger as his love interest, Marion, a mother who has lost 2 sons about his age in an auto accident, for which she feels some responsibility, appropriately lacks animation because of her trauma, a kind of `Stepford' mother exorcising her demon by sleeping with a son's surrogate. That acting is believable even if her `method' may be thinking of her combat with a notorious Baldwin boy. If you are sensitive to such things, the movie deserves its R rating. There is male nudity, from the rear, and full frontal female nudity. The language is about what one would expect from an R rated movie. ‘The Door In the Floor’ is memorable for two big reasons. 1). Jeff Bridges and 2).When you reach the very last scene, you will realize the full import of Ted Cole's world-view, and you'll see the treatment of his character in the movie in a completely new light. The laughs are thrown in at just the right moments, and the ending is as true as it gets. Sometimes, movies don't get hard-to-face endings right this film delivers it just fine.