Movie review: The Deep Blue Sea

From the July 26, 2012 edition

Not all movies about couples are movies for couples. For example, you wouldn’t want to accidentally pick “The Deep Blue Sea” for a blind date.

Magnificently acted but suffering from a disconnected plot, this tale of sadness and obsession has the peaks and pitfalls you’d expect from something adapted from the stage.

Set in post-war London, we meet Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) on the day she attempts to commit suicide. (As I mentioned, maybe avoid the blind dates.)

In a mosaic of flashbacks, we learn she was married to a considerably older judge when she found herself in a tumbling and passionate affair with a dashing Royal Air Force pilot (Tom Hiddleston, Loki of “Avengers” fame).

“Deep Blue Sea” is more a tale of obsession than love, and Weisz throws herself headlong into the lead role. It’s an often bleak, always moving performance — perhaps the best ever from an underrated actress. Hiddleston also brings fire — in both passion and the clenched jaw of a relationship gone wrong.

But director Terence Davies ties the affair too closely to its source stage play. The narrative doesn’t so much flow as it does set up moments for great actors to stretch their limits.

It’s almost worth the price just for Weisz’s performance. Let’s hope she’s not forgotten by Oscar season.