Friday, June 29, 2012

The Door

Director: István Szabó
Starring: Helen Mirren, Martina Gedeck, Károly Eperjes, Gábor Koncz, Enikö Börcsök, Mari Nagy, Ági Szirtes, Péter Andorai

Based on the semi-autobiographical 1987 Hungarian novel by Magda Szabó, the period drama tells of an unusual relationship between a well-to-do novelist (Martina Gedeck) and her graceless, elderly cleaner, Emerence (Helen Mirren). The latter has had a traumatic life which she has successfully kept a secret until a dramatic event in the writer's life prompts her share her past with unpredictable consequences. Set in 1960s in Hungary bourgeois, the much respected and rather eccentric, Emerence lives alone in a small house but has never let anyone beyond her front door (the ‘Door’ of the title). When the final revelations as to what lies behind the door come they are intriguing, but perhaps never as dramatic or moving as they should be, mainly because the film never really sets up drama of the relationship between the two women to its full effect. Despite this there are good performances from the cast with exceptional cinematography. Pure arthouse.

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