“Rachel Weisz's Stirring Performance Allows Us In The Audience To Feel Her Heartbreak”
Passion defies reason in The Deep Blue Sea.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
- New York Times
The social and psychological particulars, and the wonderful period details, are part of the background. And Mr. Hiddleston and Mr. Beale, disciplined and sensitive actors though they are, exist in the penumbra of Ms. Weisz's incandescence.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
The Deep Blue Sea is a melancholy film without a doubt, but with great sweetness and delicacy.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The Deep Blue Sea remains flat as a duck pond, the prisoner of a story whose relevance, even in metaphor, has lost much of its sting, and whose dialogue has more than a whiff of a French and Saunders sketch...
Catherine Shoard - Guardian [UK]
Maddeningly oblique and incomplete, despite paying what at times feels like excruciating attention to the minutiae of a dying love affair's final hours.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
It feels current. That's to do with the timelessness of Davies's idea of how lush a film can feel. It's also to do with the modernity of his star.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Plumbing disquieting depth, Deep Blue Sea investigates the insoluble dilemma of romantic love: the expectation, contrary to experience, that we can or will find every quality that we want in a single person.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Beale is moving as a good man who wants to understand his wife but cannot, while Hiddleston aptly captures the baffled resentment of a bachelor who's been dragged into someone else's melodrama.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It's a clumsy, dated and stodgy production - ugly to look at, unromantic in the extreme.
Roger Moore - Dallas Morning News
Sombre and powerful.
David Denby - New Yorker
The film feels pity for the exhausted city of London. The vast metropolis was the scene of greatness during World War II, but a few years later, it is drab, hungry and without optimism.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This is an extremely deft job of adaptation.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
In scene after scene, painful pauses in conversation seem to amplify the incessant ticking of the clock in the room, a subtle reminder that time rolls onward and our brief lives are not to be frittered away.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Weisz gives a heartbreaking performance; her Hester spirals into doom, hungry for the physical pleasures she has found.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's a time machine of a movie; but who will want to take the trip?
Tom Long - Detroit News
The best parts of the movie, like the scene with William's mother, involve isolated set pieces in which Weisz interacts with another actor.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
The Deep Blue Sea is uneven and somewhat tentative in its evocation of a certain kind of fading moss rose among English womanhood, but it's mature, sophisticated filmmaking that is so welcome I recommend it highly.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Davies is in fine form here, with luminous perfs, especially from Rachel Weisz, rounding out a classy package.
Leslie Felperin - Variety
[Weisz] does a fine, understated job within the parameters of Davies' stripped-down adaptation.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Hiddleston is good as the fickle playboy but Weisz, who smoulders as Hester, is better.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
Captures a very delicate sense of romantic decay.
William Goss - Film.com
"It's difficult to judge when you're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea." So it is.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
[Weisz'] performance that transforms her from actress to movie star.
Dana Stevens - Slate
In the face of Weisz's magnificence, it's impossible to dismiss The Deep Blue Sea as dated and creaky. Weisz makes it timeless.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Exceptionally well-made and completely fearless in its depiction of the widest range of romantic emotions, this is a film as fiercely committed to passion as its heroine, and that's saying a lot.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
The character is a victim of her own decisions, but Weisz's bruised performance in The Deep Blue Sea yields empathy for being battered by doomed romanticism.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
The heart wants what it wants and all that; it's anybody's guess why that might be.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Rachel Weisz performs a superb star turn here, but I'm still in a deep funk after watching this gloomy drama.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
While the soft focus cinematography and performances are excellent, we're kept at such a distance that it's hard to care.
Stephen Carty - Flix Capacitor
As rumbling and tremendous a meditation on self and suicide as there's ever been onscreen. Director Terence Davies has now made masterpieces across four decades.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
While the film has some of the same characters as the play, the crucial relationship between Hester and the former doctor, Mister Miller (Karl Johnson of "Hot Fuzz") is reduced to almost nothing in the film.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Terence Davies: More poetry of pain
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
Though "Deep Blue Sea" is a quiet and stately film on the surface, it's powerful and raw underneath.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Theater chamber piece efficiently directed and written by Terence Davies.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Have your exit route mapped out before the lights go down.
Erick Weber - NECN
The Deep Blue Sea is an eloquent love song. It's both hauntingly pitiful and very human. It's love in all its labor.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
...so ravishing as pure cinema, it would likely work just as well - if not better - if the dialogue was turned down and the Barber played on.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Taking its tone from bombed-out post-war London, Davies' film is far from cheery, but if you don't mind the slow pace and can overlook the director's trademark mannerisms (including the almost obligatory pub singalongs), there's much to admire
Jason Best - Movie Talk
A triumph of style and substance - a rare distinction that Davies has managed time and again.
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
- Sight and Sound
...will sort the lovers from the cynics in a heartbeat.
Rebecca Barry - Flicks.co.nz
Davies visually enhances the content of the play in a purely cinematic way.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The design is stunning and cunning: In one shot, a breath of cigarette smoke comes to brilliant cumulous life as Hester blows it into an otherwise invisible but purposefully placed shaft of light.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It's never a good thing when your main character is the least interesting person onscreen.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
There is more to the dense, deliberate and emotionally turbulent "The Deep Blue Sea" than its painterly style and anguished subject matter.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
... an indigo tone poem about romantic restlessness - some call it "lust" - that is at once devastating, infuriating and a little unsatisfying, despite the best efforts of the actors and some genuinely beautiful visuals.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Rachel Weisz is impressive, but The Deep Blue Sea is never as good as it could have been.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Intense presentation of the limitations of passion and the depth of real love.
Rich Heldenfels - Akron Beacon Journal
"The Deep Blue Sea" isn't a big or bold or conventionally ambitious film. It's only a superb one -- which, I fear, may not be enough to garner it the attention it deserves. Feel free to prove me wrong.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
The Deep Blue Sea looked good and featured a fantastic leading performance from Weisz but the men fail the film, like their characters fail Hester (Weisz). Maybe that's the point.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
Somber analysis of 1950's hypocrisy.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Davies doesn't provide stylish counterweights to the heavy drama. Any story that starts with a woman writing a suicide note is cheating us of an honest investment in the outcome.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A story of passion and its aftermath; of what happens when an unhappy woman goes chasing after something shiny, only to find how quickly it fades.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Come for the music and the visuals, put up with the story, and enjoy a rare feature film from a master filmmaker.
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
For all of its theatrics, The Deep Blue Sea is a flat portrait of love and the depressing depths of heartbreak.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
A miserable slog of a movie.
Tom Clift - Moviedex
Thank heavens then for Weisz whose fierce, but rarely in a fashion that distracts from the hushed events around it, performance sees the actress wrapping her tongue around the fabulous dialogue.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
This beautifully photographed film, which starts with an outstanding long crane shot accompanied by Samuel Barber's haunting violin music, breathes fresh life into what might have been an arcane story from another, not so fashionable, era.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
The plot is formulaic; the power lies elsewhere.
Craig Mathieson - The Age (Australia)
Boasting a first-rate screenplay and cast, and a wonderfully nostalgic atmosphere, this sometimes veers toward melodrama but always rings true.
Mark Demetrius - FILMINK (Australia)
The Deep Blue Sea best combines Davies's representation of memory with a traditional narrative structure. The result is his finest film to date.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Hopelessness, contemplation, confusion, anger and regret form a moody cocoon, as the film's beautiful protagonist, superbly portrayed by Rachel Weisz, tries to manage the maze of emotions
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
The challenge to make this play work is immense, and it has not been successful. Understatement of emotions has been translated as lacking pace
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
This is Rachel Weisz's movie. She's as luminous as a Pre-Raphaelite portrait, yet she brings to Hester a high-wire, modern tremulousness...
David Edelstein - NPR
It's about getting your heart broken and what can be learned from that.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Davies presents the story with a formal painterly eye, forcing us to attend to the emotional detail that Hester experiences - constrained as she is by the social structures and values of strangulated post-war Britain
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
The main reason to see Davies' second version of Rattigan's 1952 play, which is meticulously directed but thematically dated, is Rachel Weisz's astonishing performance as the troubled femme.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A showcase for a performance, and the director is largely focused on making the best possible environment for that performance to absolutely devastate us.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
An oddly muted, inert tale of adultery and unrequited passion in post-war London.
Don Groves - sbs.com.au
Davies' vaunted style is not enough.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
You'll ache watching Weisz's vulnerable, wounded performance as a woman trying to shake off the conventions of the past and dive into a bolder future.
Dave White - Movies.com
This exquisite realization is as vital as can be in depicting the timeless tortures of the romantically damned.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
It's not the film it could have been but the sheer skill of the great Rachel Weisz and the great Tom Hiddleston make it a film worth seeing.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Rachel Weisz - in what has to be the performance of her career, and there have been lots of good ones - plays an intelligent woman in the grip of a lust that's too big to handle or suppress. She can either ride the tiger or be devoured.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Rattigan's drama is a small room to maneuver in, and in the end Hester's despair is hers alone.
Michael Atkinson - Boston Phoenix
The impact of the gorgeous images can't compensate for the fact that in dramatic terms 'Sea' comes across as stilted and affected.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An underwhelming experience despite stylish cinematography and a brave performance by Rachel Weisz.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
"When Davies is able to get away from the bed-sitting room Rattigan chat, he creates some of his most lushly romantic emotional spirals upward set to popular music."
Dan Callahan - House Next Door
Try to stay on board. Whenever it does briefly slip away, it carries you along on a wave.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
That's the difficulty in warming up to The Deep Blue Sea: The first thing we see Hester do is foolish and inconceivable, which makes it hard to get invested in her future.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
A shimmering exploration of romantic obsession and the tension between fitting in and flying free.
Jeannette Catsoulis - NPR
Even as it settles a bit more comfortably into its story of romantic disillusionment, The Deep Blue Sea is marked by a kind of profound stasis of choice.
Bilge Ebiri - Vulture
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A collection of beautiful visual compositions, deliberate long takes and all-around distinguished dramatics that remains perilously detached from start to finish.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
Davies manages to convey plenty of passion among characters who aren't compassionate at all.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Director Terence Davies can paint melancholy and misery in as many shades as the Eskimos allegedly have words that mean "snow."
Alonso Duralde - The Wrap
Kevin Jagernauth - The Playlist
While it dwells in troubling circumstances and crippling personal mistakes, the feature holds steady as an authoritative piece of drama.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
In addition to Davies's visual style, the film benefits from precision acting from players who get the most out of Rattigan's dialogue.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Certainly stage-bound and dusty, but it's a perfect vehicle for Davies the aesthete/social critic.
John Anderson - Newsday
Though Davies is paying more attention to plot here, this is still a personal and monumentally artistic achievement.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
1950s story about an alluring woman who leaves her husband in search of sexual passion with a younger man.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
- Miami Herald
It's a clumsy, dated and stodgy production -- ugly to look at, unromantic in the extreme.
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
the work of a British master
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
About the only positive things about this dark film and its abstruse ending are that the acting is very good and the ambience is fittingly depressing.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
What excited me about this movie, other than seeing Rachel Weisz in such smart dresses, is the notion of a woman being so unprepped by her culture to experience anything resembling passion.
Jordan Hoffman - About.com
A great play made into a dreary, over-indulgent movie.
David Noh - Film Journal International
Rachel Weisz, as a woman who risks everything for the love of the wrong man, carries the mood and subtext of the material safely tucked in her dressing-gown pocket -- she's vulnerable and self-motivated in all the right measures.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
Earns a place alongside Letter From An Unknown Woman and The Heiress, those beautiful romantic tragedies about women whose love curdles and rots when they get nothing in return.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
...although this is a handsomely mounted production, [Davies] and his star, Weisz, are unable to make us empathize with Hester's dilemma...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
In a world where everybody sounds like Celia Johnson, interior tortures are an aristocratic luxury counterpointed with earthly realities like the Blitz.
Tara Brady - Irish Times
After only six fiction features, Davies has staked out a subterranean psychology: forwardly gay, openly torn and just short of miserable.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
Its director's romantic sensibilities wed to Terrence Rattigan's 60-year-old play, this period drama is buoyed by Rachel Weisz's poignant embodiment of a bourgeois wife seeking erotic autonomy.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
The Deep Blue Sea is more concerned with replicating period detail than anything else.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
The intimacy of Davies's direction captures the brilliance of Weisz and her co-stars' performances.
Jay Antani - Paste Magazine
[VIDEO] Musky with a dry wit that induces laugh-out-loud chuckles, Terence Davies' spot-on adaptation of Terence Rattigan's brilliant 1952 theatrical stage drama, is a finely crafted gem of British post World War II malaise.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Rachel Weisz's stirring performance allows us in the audience to feel her character's heartbreak
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The film opens with an aural barrage of violins, before the camera is soon swirling around limbs on a bed with such inventive style it challenges your perception of the human form.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
Performances are very good but I found it hard to feel for the characters, especially as we learn so little about the background to the relationships.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
Davies vividly catches the mood of Rattigan's tattered post-war England, of painfully observed proprieties on one hand, untameable desire on the other.
Jonathan Romney - Sight and Sound
Davies elicits outstanding performances from his central triangle, all sympathetic in their various ways, lacking in self-awareness and victims of sorts.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
It's an interesting exercise, bolstered by strong performances that stay the right side of pastiche, but it doesn't quite grab the heart the way the best romantic dramas do.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
A heady and often heartrending study of lovers at loggerheads...
Damon Wise - Radio Times
Despite the emotional hurt on display, there's not much grandeur.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
The scars of the heart have their outward reflection on these dark, broken streets, with little pockets of warmth and solace in the pubs where Londoners huddle.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
The movie is mostly wonderful.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Even more melodramatic, badly written and poorly acted than Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
- Empire Magazine
Are the camera moves graceful? Of course they are. Hypnotically graceful. Even the cigarette smoke looks like it's taken ballet lessons. But there's a bit more to the drama than meets the eye.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
Classic Davies territory and a potent reminder of why he is a director to cherish.
Jason Wood - Little White Lies
Davies fans will be used to his unique style but his slow-motion narrative could have unfamiliar pundits bewailing the fact the Battle of Britain went the other way.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Every frame of this film feels meticulously crafted, as we are led to fall in love with the idea of all-consuming passion, while being serenaded by the arousing score.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
A stylish, self-contained, evocative drama with strong lead performances that overcomes the odd dip here and there to provide a distinct and satisfying experience.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
It's sad as a story and deeply evocative as a period piece, but it fails to take a grip on the heart in the same way that the very best of Davies's films do.
Dave Calhoun - Time Out
In an age of hubbub, its patient elegance is a rare thing we should nurture.
Damon Wise - Empire Magazine
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
Every speech and pause is measured, every gesture neat, every line delivered to the back row of the stalls.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
The film never shirks its essential sadness, despite occasional shafts of humour. In that, it is totally faithful to Rattigan's vision and remains a fine example of how to turn theatre into film.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Beautifully shot and exquisitely designed, this is a powerfully emotional British drama with a terrific central performance from Rachel Weisz, though it's also thoroughly depressing and you might need a good stiff drink afterwards.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The movie is occasionally moving and very well-acted, but despite all the crying manages to feel slight.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Mark Adams - Screen International