8:00 PM, 25th September, 2012
The Door is set in Hungary in the 1960s and features a powerful performance by Helen Mirren as Emerence; a poor, blunt and elderly maid to Magda (Gedeck), a well-off author. Magda needs a cook and cleaner and tolerates Emerence's uncompromising manner, often insulting speech and eccentric habits - including bursting into rooms unannounced and an unnatural insistence on the display of ceramic dog statues. The relationship between these two characters is the drawcard of the film and the viewer grows in fondness for both characters as their bond solidifies, drawing out the strengths and weaknesses of each.
The door (of the film's title) to Emerence's shack remains shut, as it has for decades - the mystery of why is a rumour mill for the town and constantly in Magda's thoughts. When Magda wins an award for her latest novel and travels to the capital, all is not well at home, bringing a rushed resolution to the connection between the two women.
The film is played out in a manner that suits the period piece, and is a lot less laboured than many more modern films. However this pace doesn't give the audience the chance to fully engage with the powerful characters both Gedeck and Mirren develop. One highlight for me was the wonderfully symphonic soundtrack that surrounds the work of the women and that suits the film to a tee. The Door is of high quality with dramatic performances that resonate with the emotional, and sometimes dark, histories of its characters.