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The Door in the Floor

Drama . Comedy

Alternately tragic and comic, an exploration of the complexities of love in both its brightest and darkest corners. Adapted from John Irving's best-selling novel A Widow for One Year, the film is set in the privileged beach community of East Hampton, New York and chronicles one pivotal summer in the lives of famous children's book author Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges) and his beautiful wife Marion (Kim Basinger). Their once-great marriage has been strained by tragedy. Her resulting despondency and his subsequent infidelities have prevented the couple from confronting a much-needed change in their relationship. Eddie O'Hare, the young man Ted hires to work as his summer assistant, is the couple's unwitting yet willing pawn - and, ultimately, the catalyst in the transformation of their lives.

Actors: Jeff Bridges , Kim Basinger , Elle Fanning , Jon Foster
Directors: Tod Williams
Country: USA
Release: 2004-08-06
More Info:
  • Dana Stevens

    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.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    The production is graced by bold performances, lyrical visuals and, most notably, Irving's own words, which have made the transition quite intact thanks to a faithful but still filmic adaptation by writer-director Tod Williams.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    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.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Rooney

    A thoughtful, melancholy story of love, loss, pain, betrayal and the lingering after-effects of tragedy, The Door in the Floor is an intelligent, impeccably acted, unsentimental drama.

    Variety Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    You can't shut the door on this spellbinder. It gets into your head.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    A stunningly well-acted drama for grown-ups.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Everything in the movie -- family demons, May-December sex, the lessons of writing -- ties together with pinpoint precision. That's a pleasure, to be sure, and a limitation, too.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Melissa Levine

    A surprisingly good film, not quite original but smart, careful and steadfast in its dedication to its characters.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • David Ansen

    This hothouse tale of grief, sex and betrayal is told with a cool detachment that renders it commendably unsentimental--and slightly remote.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Williams handles the main line of the story, the war between Ted and Marion, clearly and strongly; you may not always hurt the one you love, but you certainly know how to.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    Bridges is fun to watch, Fanning emerges as Hollywood's best 6-year-old actress, and Rogers's talents are wasted. A likable drama within its limitations.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Mike Clark

    Jeff Bridges has enough demons in The Door in the Floor to jam a crowd scene, but the actor's sheer likability remains undiminished.

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Well-made, and it held my attention throughout, but this is one of those motion pictures where it's easier to admire than like the final result.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    There are more than a couple of moments in this film, adapted by writer-director Tod Williams from a big swatch of Irving’s multigenerational quilt "A Widow for One Year," that get Irving’s sense of grotesque tragedy and tragic grotesquerie just right

    Premiere Full Review
  • William Arnold

    It works as a fascinating and often very funny character study/satire of a famous author, though it loses interest the harder it tries to be profound and falls apart completely toward the end.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Ella Taylor

    The film’s beauty is that, like any good novel, it refuses to sew up its meanings for the audience.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Bridges turns in another remarkable performance, and he's well-matched by Foster.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ed Park

    Eliminates much of its source's plot, focusing on the book's first third. The result is a crisply shot chamber piece for husband, wife, and boy.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Bridges has evolved into a miraculous actor: one who signals wildness through the intensity of his containment.

    Slate Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    By the end the story is more satisfying than you might expect.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    To do no disservice to the impressive work of Bridges' co-stars, anytime his ragged writer, in flowing caftans and floppy hats, is on screen, it's impossible to take in anything else, so commanding is his presence.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    That Williams occasionally comes close to the author's layered spirit is a tribute to his passion. But the film fails on a number of levels. First, it is what it is: the prologue to a story that covers four(!) decades.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    A handsome-looking movie that's full of the muted greens, browns and grays of the tony Hamptons, director Williams' tale never quite finds its footing.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    When it sticks to the subject, the movie is sad and affecting.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    Getting Irving's characteristic blend of quirky comedy and sorrow just right on screen has always been tricky, and writer-director Tod Williams' best efforts aren't enough to make the mix gel.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Dorian Lynskey

    This better-than-the-book adaptation casts quite a spell.

    Empire Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    It's nearly impossible to tell whether Williams thought he was making a family tragedy or a sex farce. Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    This is a carefully conceived, thoughtfully orchestrated effort in taste and restraint that ultimately is too restrained and tasteful.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    Bridges can't be a whole movie. But he's the main reason to watch.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Karen Karbo

    By turns absorbing, unsettling and, for lack of a better word, icky.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Mark Caro

    The Door in the Floor feels more about a situation than actual people. It's sensitively rendered, filled with those necessary evocative details, and it never rings true.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Rogers gives a brave performance, but there isn't much chemistry between Bridges and Basinger, who were teamed to better effect in 1987's "Nadine."

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Single-handedly, Bridges gives the film what it otherwise lacks -- energy and emotion invested in this damaged man, naked beneath his ballooning caftan, at once sadly ridiculous and ridiculously sad.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Bridges redeems the clichéd role of spoiled artist-sot. He's flamboyantly entertaining, which is more than this otherwise dreary movie deserves.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • David Denby

    For all its handsomeness and its occasional moments of piercing intelligence, it's a fundamentally depressing piece of work--not because it deals with tragic events and memories but because the characters seem hapless and even stupid, and the writer-director can't, or won't, take control.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Despite the actors' admirable efforts, everyone in The Door in the Floor is too affected, too fancifully written, to come off as anything other than conceits.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Showcasing three individuals whose spiritual and physical journeys are both repellent and mundane, the film is just a long and pointless slog.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    One of those rare and complex dramas that you can enter, not simply watch.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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