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Sliding Doors movie review

Sliding Doors

Like an episode of the Twilight Zone, this film looks at two diverging paths that begin with an act of betrayal. Beautifully crafted, and well paced this film is even better than promised and well worth a look on many levels. It uses the classic science fiction premise of 'what if' and then, according to the rules, remains true to its own reality.

Movie still, Sliding Doors, Festivale movie review
Zara Turner and Gwyneth Paltrow

Sliding Doors, Festivale movie review
Changes in hairstyle is just one of the differences on either side of the sliding doors.

Many people forget that sf speculates about the things that shape our lives and make us human. Sliding Doors reminds us that we do not walk a clear and concrete path, but rather swim the tides of an infinite number of possibilities, and that the person we are depends upon the choices we make.

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Originally an all-British production, it retains its British comedic strengths despite the USAmerican actresses (Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead and Jeanne Tripplehorn as her rival in love) and funding. The American contributions to the film include mentoring from veteran actor/director/producer Sydney Pollack whose Mirage Enterprises helped fund the film.

Movie Still, Sliding Doors, Fesivale film review
Jeanne Tripplehorn, 1990s femme fatale

One of the fun things about this film is the blonde being the sinned-against and the brunette being the vamp/other woman. Paltrow, in both incarnations of her character has a wonderful etherial vulnerable quality, Tripplehorn has a rich earthy reality that provides contrast. John Hannah is perfect as the alternative love. Fans of his television series McCallum will be especially pleased to see him back on the big screen.

Perhaps the best-drawn character in the entire film is the best friend, played by Irish actress Zara Turner, also seen in McCallum. As Anna she is a catalyst, delivering sympathy and droll derision in equal measures.

John Hannah and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors, Festivale film review
John Hannah and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors

Sliding Doors is well-cut and nicely paced, with care and attention paid to developing characters who deliver some of the best quips on film.

See also June, 1998 A Reel Life discussion of this film.
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Due for release July 31, 1998

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See also: Gwyneth Paltrow also appears in Great Expectations

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Just the facts:

Title: Sliding Doors (199)
Written by: Peter Howitt
Directed by: Peter Howitt
Produced by: Phillippa Braithwaite, Sydney Pollack, William Horberg
Edited by: John Smith
Director of Photography: Remi Adefarasin

The Players: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, Zara Turner
Official website
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Festivale Online Magazine
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 1998 All rights reserved
Filed: 20-May-1998 : Last updated: 3-Jun-1998 : Last tested: 3-Jul-2014: Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
Entire site refreshed: Dec 2008-Feb 2009 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)

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