Two women come to terms with past traumas in "Deeply," an unsteady mixture of psychological and folkloric elements set on a remote isle in Nova Scotia. Trimmed of expletives, this sophomore movie by Canada's Sheri Elwood ("Eb and Flo") would make solid afternoon TV fare; theatrical penetration looks to be shallow.

Two women come to terms with past traumas in “Deeply,” an unsteady mixture of psychological and folkloric elements set on a remote isle in Nova Scotia. Trimmed of expletives, this sophomore movie by Canada’s Sheri Elwood (“Eb and Flo”) would make solid afternoon TV fare; theatrical penetration looks to be shallow.

Following some unhappiness in Germany, Claire (Julia Brendler) arrives with her mother with plenty of adolescent attitude and a mysterious scar on her back. She forms a wary friendship with the eccentric Celia (Lynn Redgrave), who narrates a manuscript she’s been writing, in which, half a century ago, Silly (Kirsten Dunst), daughter of a schoolteacher (Tara Rosling), was blamed by locals for reviving a Viking curse that de-fishes the waters every 50 years. Silly tried to flee with the son (Trent Ford) of a passing WWII naval officer, but the tryst ended in tragedy. Crosscutting between past and present, Elwood turns in a good-looking pro job on a budget, but the script becomes badly tangled in its own nets during the third act. Dunst is fine as the self-possessed Silly and Redgrave chews the scenery along with her pipe.

Deeply

Germany-Canada

Production

A Vif Filmproduktion (Germany)/Bellwood Stories Prod. (Canada) production, in association with TiMe Filmproduktion and Meg Media Group. (International sales: Myriad Pictures, Santa Monica, Calif.) Produced by Karen Arikian, Carolynne Bell. Executive producer, Wolfgang Tichy. Directed, written by Sheri Elwood.

Crew

Camera (color), Sebastian Edschmid; editor, Jon Gregory; music, Micki Meuser; production designer, Bill Flemming; costume designer, Jill Askin. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 15, 2000. (English dialogue.) Running time: 99 MIN.

With

With: Kirsten Dunst, Lynn Redgrave, Alberta Watson, Julia Brendler, Brent Carver, Peter Donaldson, Tara Rosling, Trent Ford, Jessica Turner, Anthony Higgins.
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