The dissolution of a marriage is never easy to watch, but director Tod Williams (The Adventures of Sebastian Cole) turns it into something of a tender, twisted farce with The Door in the Floor, based on the first third of John Irving’s fine 1998 novel, A Widow for One Year. Years after their teen sons die in a car accident, author Ted Cole (Jeff Bridges) reopens the wounds of his still-grieving wife, Marion (Kim Basinger), when he hires a gawky 16-year-old assistant (Jon Foster) — who proceeds to fall in love with her. Williams gracefully handles the potentially off-putting subject matter with small dashes of humor that pierce through the melancholy. Bridges is garnering Oscar buzz for his raw turn as the loutish Ted, and rightfully so: Few actors would be brave enough to run around in a dirty smock for much of a movie; fewer still could do it while delivering the sharpest performance of their career.
EXTRAS Incisive commentary from Williams and his production team, an interview with Irving, and two making-of documentaries that follow Floor’s journey from page to screen.