Door hinges on dame’s fine ef­fort

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH Now show­ing State Cinema

A CRYP­TIC, claus­tro­pho­bic drama filmed in Hun­gary and per­formed in English. Kind of.

I men­tion this right up front, if only to warn you that there is some very dodgy voice dub­bing in play for se­lected char­ac­ters. It gets very dis­tract­ing when the un- synched be­gin mut­ter­ing to one an­other.

Set at the height of Com­mu­nist rule, the story of The Door cen­tres on the abra­sive influence that a mys­te­ri­ous house­keeper ( He­len Mir­ren) wields over her em­ployer, a suc­cess­ful nov­el­ist named Magda ( Martina Gedeck of The Lives of Oth­ers fame).

A grumpy mood piece if there ever was one – Mir­ren’s char­ac­ter is a glass- to­tally- empty type – this tac­i­turn af­fair will take a long time to win you over.

The sig­nif­i­cance of cer­tain years cov­ered by the screen­play’s ex­tended time­frame might be lost on those who haven’t brushed up on their Hun­gar­ian his­tory lately.

Show The Door some pa­tience and you will be re­warded, thanks to two fine lead per­for­mances, and the so­phis­ti­cated di­rec­to­rial eye of Ist­van Szabo ( still at the peak of his pow­ers at age 74).

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