The Deep Blue Sea is a 2011 British romantic drama film directed by Terence Davies and starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale. It is an adaptation of the 1952 Terence Rattigan play The Deep Blue Sea about the wife of a judge who engages in an affair with a former RAF pilot. This film version is funded by the UK Film Council and Film4, produced by Sean O'Connor and Kate Ogborn.
Filming began in late 2010 and it was released in the United Kingdom in 2011, the year of Rattigan's centenary. It was released in the United States in 2012 by distributor Music Box Films.
In 1950, Hester Collyer, the younger wife of High Court judge Sir William Collyer, has embarked on a passionate affair with Freddie Page, a handsome young former RAF pilot troubled by his memories of the Second World War. Freddie throws Hester's life in turmoil, as their erotic relationship leaves her emotionally stranded and physically isolated. For Freddie, that tumultuous mix of fear and excitement that was once in his life seems to be no longer present.
The majority of the film takes place during one day in Hester's flat, a day on which she has decided to commit suicide. Her suicide attempt fails and as she recovers, the story of her affair and her married life is played out in a mosaic of short and sporadic flashbacks. We soon discover the constraints of Hester's comfortable marriage, which is affectionate but without sexual passion.
As Hester's affair is discovered she leaves her life of comparative luxury and moves into a small dingy London flat with Freddie. Hester's new lover has awakened her sexuality, but the reckless, thrill-seeking Freddie can never give her the love and stability that her husband gave her. Yet to return to a life without passion would be unbearable. The film takes its title from her dilemma of being caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea – two equally undesirable situations.Rachel Weisz as Hester Collyer
Tom Hiddleston as Freddie Page
Simon Russell Beale as Sir William Collyer
Harry Hadden-Paton as Jackie Jackson
Ann Mitchell as Mrs Elton
Sarah Kants as Liz Jackson
Karl Johnson as Mr. Miller
Barbara Jefford as Collyer's mother
Oliver Ford Davies as Hester's father
Filming locations are all in London, England (UK). The Three Mills Studios was used, Three Mill Lane, Bow, London.
The orchestral background music is taken from Samuel Barber's violin concerto written 1939.
The film was released to strongly positive reviews from critics. At Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 78%, based on 130 reviews and an average rating of 6.1/10. It also has a score of 82 on Metacritic based on 30 reviews.
For her performance, Weisz won the Best Actress Award at the 2012 New York Film Critics Circle Awards and also won the Best Actress Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association in the same year.
In December 2012, Weisz was nominated as Best Actress in the 70th Golden Globe Awards. The film was also chosen as one of the Top Ten films of the year by The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. The film has found a largely appreciative audience and critical success in the United States with Weisz's performance named as 'film performance of 2012' by David Edelstein of New York magazine.