Deep Water (2022 film)
|Directed by||Adrian Lyne|
|Based on||Deep Water|
by Patricia Highsmith
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
Deep Water is a 2022 erotic psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne, from a screenplay by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson, based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. The film stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, with Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery, Dash Mihok, Finn Wittrock, Kristen Connolly, and Jacob Elordi appearing in supporting roles. It marks Lyne's return to filmmaking after a 20-year absence since his last film, Unfaithful (2002).
Melinda and Vic Van Allen live with their young daughter Trixie in Little Wesley, Louisiana. Vic has retired early after developing guidance chips for combat drones, and his complicated relationship with Melinda is held together by a precarious arrangement: they sleep apart and Melinda takes lovers openly, even in their family home, while Vic finds solace in raising his large collection of snails. Their open marriage is no secret to their concerned friends, and Vic grows increasingly jealous, while Melinda laments his lack of passion.
Melinda invites her latest lover, Joel, to a neighbour's party. Alone with Joel, Vic tells him that he murdered Melinda's previous lover Martin, who has recently disappeared. The story spreads through their circle of friends, raising the suspicions of noir writer Don Wilson. Joel comes to dinner with the Van Allen family, and Vic elaborates in private that he killed Martin with a hammer, frightening Joel into leaving town. A TV news report reveals that Martin’s body has been found shot to death, and a suspect is arrested.
Vic confronts Melinda after she gives money to Charlie, her new lover and piano teacher. She invites Charlie to a friend's pool party and introduces him to Vic, toying with his jealousy. Rain sends everyone inside, leaving Vic and Charlie alone in the water. After Melinda discovers Charlie's body drowned in the pool, the party is questioned by police, and Melinda is quick to accuse Vic of murdering Charlie. He later asks if she is scared of him, and she says she is not as "I'm the one you killed for".
Don's wife Kelly tells Vic that her husband and Melinda have been accusing him of Charlie's murder. Vic discovers they have hired a private investigator to follow him, and confronts Don in front of Don’s family. Melinda reconnects with an old boyfriend, Tony, and Vic overhears their conversation suggesting they will move to Brazil, taking Trixie with them. She invites Tony to dinner with Vic and takes him to her bedroom, furthering Vic's jealousy.
Vic lures Tony into his car and drives him to a secluded spot he and Melinda share, overlooking a rocky gorge. He throws stones at Tony, causing him to fall down the hill to his death, and sinks his body in the creek. Melinda takes Vic and their daughter on a picnic to the same spot. Vic gives her a collection of photographs he has surreptitiously taken of her as a testament to his love, but spots Tony’s body resurfaced in the creek. Returning home, he offers to go back to the spot in the morning to retrieve Melinda's lost scarf. She notifies Don, but invites Vic to share her bed that night.
The next day, Vic bikes to the creek to deal with Tony's body, but is caught in the act by Don. He drives away, pursued by Vic, who falls off his bike into the car's path; texting recklessly, Don swerves to avoid Vic but drives off a cliff and is killed. At home, Melinda finds Tony’s wallet in one of Vic's snail vivaria. She packs a suitcase to leave, which Trixie throws in the pool, insisting they stay. Vic arrives home, where Melinda tells him that she noticed Tony's body, but has burned his wallet. In closing, Trixie sings along to "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"
- Ben Affleck as Vic
- Ana de Armas as Melinda
- Tracy Letts as Don Wilson
- Grace Jenkins as Trixie
- Dash Mihok as Jonas Fernandez
- Rachel Blanchard as Kristin Peterson
- Kristen Connolly as Kelly Wilson
- Jacob Elordi as Charlie De Lisle
- Lil Rel Howery as Grant
- Brendan C. Miller as Joel Dash
- Jade Fernandez as Jen Fernandez
- Finn Wittrock as Tony Cameron
- Michael Braun as Jeff Peterson
- Devyn Tyler as Mary Washington
- Michael Scialabba as Kevin Washington
- Jeff Pope as Chief Nichols
- Paul Teal as Deputy Clark
- Juliet Brett as Chelsea (Babysitter)
- Damon Lipari as Carlyle
- Joel R. Martinez as David Ricigliani
- Jaren Mitchell as John
The project began development in 2013, with Adrian Lyne set to direct and Fox 2000 Pictures set to finance. Fox 2000 sold the rights to New Regency in 2018. In August 2019, the project saw new developments; Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas agreed to star, with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures agreeing to handle the distribution via their 20th Century Studios label. In October 2019, Tracy Letts and Rachel Blanchard joined the cast of the film.
Filming began in New Orleans on November 4, 2019, with the additions of Dash Mihok, Lil Rel Howery, Jacob Elordi, Kristen Connolly, Jade Fernandez and Finn Wittrock to the cast. In December 2019, Michael Braun joined the cast of the film.
Deep Water was originally scheduled to be released on November 13, 2020, but was delayed to August 13, 2021, and again to January 14, 2022. On December 9, 2021, it was taken off the release schedule. Four days later, it was reported that the film would move to a Hulu-exclusive release in the United States and an Amazon Prime Video–exclusive release internationally. On February 14, 2022, it was announced that the film would be released on Hulu on March 18, 2022, and on Prime Video for a simultaneous international release.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 37% of 221 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.00/10. The website's consensus reads, "Viewers desperately seeking a new erotic thriller might find Deep Water worth a dip, but it's far from director Adrian Lyne's best work." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 53 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
David Rooney at The Hollywood Reporter appreciated Lyne's return to filmmaking, but gave the film a negative review and wrote: "Lyne's take on the material, scripted without distinction by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson, manages to drain all the subtlety and psychological complexity from Highsmith's story of marital warfare, transgression and obsession."
- This film was originally in-production at 20th Century Studios, but the studio went uncredited upon release of the film. Despite this, 20th Century Studios did promote the film.
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