The Deep Blue Sea (2011 film)

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The Deep Blue Sea
The Deep Blue Sea (2011 film) poster.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed byTerence Davies
Screenplay byTerence Davies
Based onThe Deep Blue Sea
by Terence Rattigan
Produced bySean O'Connor
Kate Ogborn
StarringRachel Weisz
Tom Hiddleston
Simon Russell Beale
Harry Hadden-Paton
CinematographyFlorian Hoffmeister
Edited byDavid Charap
Music bySamuel Barber
Distributed byArtificial Eye[1]
Release dates
  • 11 September 2011 (2011-09-11) (TIFF)
  • 25 November 2011 (2011-11-25)
Running time
98 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$8 million[3]
Box office$3.1 million[1]

The Deep Blue Sea is a 2011 British romantic drama film written and 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 was 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.[4][5]


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, the tumultuous wartime mix of fear and excitement that was once in his life seems to be no longer present.

Most 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 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 for her. The film takes its title from her dilemma of being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea – two equally undesirable situations.[6]



Filming locations are in Buckinghamshire and London including the 3 Mills Studios in Bow.

The background music is taken from Samuel Barber's violin concerto written 1939.

Critical reception[edit]

The film was released to strongly positive reviews from critics. At Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 80%, based on 141 reviews and an average rating of 7.11/10.[7] It also has a score of 82 on Metacritic based on 30 reviews.[8]

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 January 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.


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
55th BFI London Film Festival[9] 12–27 October 2011 Best Film The Deep Blue Sea Nominated
39th Evening Standard British Film Awards[10] 6 February 2012 Best Actress Rachel Weisz Nominated
33rd London Film Critics' Circle[10] 19 January 2012 British Actress of the Year Rachel Weisz Nominated
Supporting Actor of the Year Simon Russell Beale Nominated
2012 New York Film Critics Circle Awards 3 December 2012 Best Actress Rachel Weisz Won
70th Golden Globe Awards 13 January 2013 Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Rachel Weisz Nominated


  1. ^ a b "The Deep Blue Sea (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  2. ^ "THE DEEP BLUE SEA (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  3. ^ "The Deep Blue Sea - PowerGrid". 12 December 2014.
  4. ^ Child, Ben (17 November 2010). "Terence Davies resurfaces to begin filming The Deep Blue Sea". Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ "THE DEEP BLUE SEA: IN CINEMAS NOW". Film4. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea – Review". Britflicks. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  7. ^ "The Deep Blue Sea (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  8. ^ "The Deep Blue Sea". Metacritic. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  9. ^ CineVue (27 October 2011). "BFI London Film Festival 2011: Award winners announced". CineVue. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  10. ^ a b 2012 Evening Standard Limited (10 April 2012). "Shortlist Revealed". Evening Standard British Film Awards. Retrieved 3 December 2012.

External links[edit]