Sliding Doors

Sliding-Doors-1998-poster

“No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” — Monty Python

What if your life split into two timelines? In one timeline, you make your morning train, the other, someone mugs you, smashes your head into a tree, a kind British taxi driver takes you to the hospital. The split completely alters the experiences of your two lives, two different synchronicities. In one reality, you get fired, in the other, you don’t make it to work. You come home early, the other, you don’t make it home until the correct amount of time later. After things at home have time to move into a different moment, creating an alternate future, causing two parallel realities.

gwynnie sliding doors blond short hair

The film, Sliding Doors, involves Helen [Gwyneth Paltrow] meeting a new man, while still living with Gerry [John Lynch], One timeline remains with Gerry, a novelist, she is supporting. He is supposed to be writing his novel. In the other timeline, things come to an abrupt conclusion.

It’s a brilliantly conceived realistic fantasy, totally believable. How it all turns out, is well worth the time put in to watching, as the two realities evolve. Ultimately, turning out an ending with a twist. The whole film is one twisted curve. The story is enchanted. You make your choices. It’s was easy for me. It makes my best and favorites list. What is not to crave and love?

Sliding Doors after helen and james meet on train

The complexity, a brilliantly written screenplay, superb acting by a fine cast. Gwyneth Paltrow [Helen] and John Hannah [James] are in top form. John Hannah is someone with whom to fall in love. He is a genuinely fine and sensitive actor. His first film that appeared outside the UK was Four Weddings and a Funeral. His reading of W.H. Auden’s Funeral Blues was an especially painful, yet tender moment.

sliding doors james in diner

John Lynch and Jeanne Tripplehorn play the jesters, though irritating characters, carry off their roles sadly, pathetically, yet comically. It is impossible not to feel these two are not exactly on your favorite characters list. But there is always a need for antagonists. And most times you don’t like them, yet can appreciate their need in the film, or where would be the negative for the positive to repel?

Lydia [Jeanne Tripplehorn] is a tremendous pain and cruel to boot. Gerry [John Lynch], the man Helen lives with is a ball-less, unfaithful, pathetic jerk. These are my truthful prejudices.

Sliding-Doors-john-hannah gwyneth

In the timeline, where Helen gets to know James life and becomes an integral part. This is the life I enjoy watching develop the most. If you decide to watch the film Sliding Doors, and I highly recommend it, you will be following a journey through regrouping and beginning your life from the start again. The alternate timelines are living inside of a blindness to what is happening around them.

sliding-doors helen james in diner h having milkshake

Altering time is fascinating. Watching new possibilities grow, while you are living your life as it was given to you. At the same exact time being given a new life while the old life continues in an almost similar direction, just arriving separately.

The ending, I won’t even go anywhere near what happens there. I do recommend “you start at the beginning until you come to the end, then stop.” —Lewis Carroll. It is well worth the journey. Without telling you the culmination of the story, I will say it is imaginative.

Sliding Doors is fascinating to watch. Curious how it makes you feel. You will route for Helen all the way, but which one? What will you think of James? He has his secrets as well. There are secrets everywhere. Characters you just don’t like. Maybe I am being too judgmental but some behaviors are really not honorable.

sliding doors james helen sitting on train first meeting

Sliding Doors is definitely about love. Real love. I am not sure if Gerry knows what he feels. You, as the audience, decide that conclusion. I am not enamored of him. Where my allegiances lie, I haven’t hidden. But my letting that out will not give you any idea what this story is trying to share. Feeling love and caring and knowing when you see it and feel it.

I keep returning to the ending. It surprised me the first time I watched Sliding Doors. It may surprise everyone who watches it. The creativity of the mind who created this story, must be very fertile. I love when someone writes something so different. Something one has not seen in a film before. An original concept, playing with time, in the way Sliding Doors plays it through.

slidingdoors helen at closed train doors

Anyone who likes imagination, thinking, going with the possibilities, being able to expect the unusual and to be able to accept the unique, will love Sliding Doors.

It is a film one can watch more than once. Why? Some films create such ponderings in the mind one needs a dose of their originality to sooth the soul and to believe in the genius of originality. It still truly exists in a world of film on the edge of losing its ability to create plenty of room for new ideas. They sneak in here or there.

Sliding Door is made for the romantic as well as the psychologically prone individual. The interaction between Helen and James is an invitation to see how feelings slowly develop within a natural growth. The depth of love and feelings are real and should not chase away the male viewer. It is a thinking person’s film. Don’t be afraid of the romance.

sliding doors helen short blond hair looking in from the sidewalk

The other side of the film is either funny or irritating but in a way that holds the viewer’s attention. For me, I just want to slap some sense into Lydia and Gerry. He is an ass and she is not much higher on the evolutionary ladder.

I prize this film. Obviously, the parts that are irritating would accentuate after you’ve watched this film often enough. Even so, the rest of the film is well worth viewing as often as possible.

Movie Connections: Sliding Doors — John Hannah [James]

The two Helens are reacting so differently and anyone near her lives are different, also. Everyone has to change their perspective on what is real. Keeping them organized is not complicated, instead it is a curious experience to see the different performances.

One more film on my list of films I watch whenever I find the time. It is, to me, like looking into a great work of art, each view you see more deeply into what your senses are perceiving. Each perception brings on different feelings and reactions on other sense levels. Losing myself in the art is a love affair. Losing may not be the most accurate word, pleasure is more succinct. There is emotional pleasure or an indescribable response in experiencing art.

james holding helen

For me, film can most assuredly be considered art. It has such an availability of ranges, in which to explore the mind, the imagination, to express emotions, thoughts, concepts, ideas, non-sense, and a letting go of creativity. To develop a conversation, acting out a concept, to see where it will lead in opening one’s mind to something deeper or new.

Sliding Doors is this film. It is art. It creates a possibility of fantasy, which could hold a particle of truth within its idea of playing with time.

sliding_doors_helen 1st reality

“Always look on the bright side of life.” I love the mentions of Monty Python. What they say and do in their work, mostly non-sense, is filled with humor and ridiculosity.

Sliding Doors asks you to suspend your concept of reality, step into a moment of fantasy and allow that to have possibilities. Go with where it takes you. Accept its consequences.

“No one expects the Spanish Inquisition” — Monty Python

Sliding Doors Trailer

Sliding Doors
Cast:
Helen: Gwyneth Paltrow
James: John Hannah
Gerry: John Lynch
Lydia: Jeanne Tripplehorn

Directed & Written by Peter Howitt [Antitrust with Ryan Philippe, Tim Robbins, and Rachel Leigh Cook. An extreme thriller in the intrigue of super-computers, programmers, inventive ideas, murder, and an exciting film to watch. Edge of the seat philosophy film-making. One I shall watch again really soon & highly recommend for the film viewer who wants excitement with their popcorn. Eat slowly so you don’t choke. Available Free through Redbox Subscription using Roku. Will review in near Future].

Year: [1998]
99m R
Available Presently [26th Dec. 2013]
Amazon Instant Video or Purchase Amazon.com

THE END

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
Sliding Doors, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
avatar

About the Author:

“Never Tell Me I Can’t Do Something.” Words which make me feel challenged and pushed forward until what meets me is accomplished. It is within me to create from thoughts, images and sound. There are five questions: What? When? Where? How? And Why? My compulsion is to figure out answers to them all. I am a writer, poet, artist, blogger who uses her tools to search the unknown, to discover all the possibilities and impossibilities, and to live as full a life as imaginable. Jk the secret keeper

10 Comments on "Sliding Doors"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. avatar Larry Conley says:

    Jennifer,

    This was a superb review! It caught my interest to the extent that I requested it from my local library.

    Eager to watch it.

    Larry

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Thank you, Larry. I do hope you enjoy Sliding Doors. Let me know what you think. Now that I have finished the review, I will watch the film as a viewer alone. Enjoy with no expectation.
      :-) JkM

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. avatar Katy Kern says:

    Thanks for the reminder of this one, Jennifer. I saw this a year or so after it came out in theatres. It was one of the great Blockbuster trip finds.
    It’s funny you posted this one. I had a pinned this one on Pinterest ages ago and someone repinned that. Double reminder that it is time for me to watch this again. :-)

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • You are welcome. Sliding Doors does not lose anything in the transition of time. It is as great a film today as when it hit the theatres.

      I love the idea of resurrecting brilliantly conceived films. Maybe the signs are speaking to you. I am hoping it will make your heart sing. Do enjoy. Thank you, Katy.

      :-) JkM

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  3. avatar Cher Duncombe says:

    Jennifer, this looks tremendously interesting and I will look for it on Netflix. I am not crazy about Gwyneth Paltrow in real life, but I do find her an interesting actress. The concept here is compelling. I don’t know how I missed this one, but once again you have found a gem worth searching for. Great review!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Testing an imaginative theory about time is something I have always found fascinating. Experimenting with a mind altering event, some would say subtle, you just don’t know what would be if their were no serendipity.

      Even with a not crazy in real life but interesting actress, you will find Gwyneth growing into her life, either time blimp, and be hypnotized by the interwoven stories and her acting, no matter who she interacts with.

      I am pretty certain you will see this film soon and it will carry you through an intriguing journey. Thank you. :-) JkM

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. Wow this brings pleasant memories. I saw this because “Turn Back Time’ by Aqua was a big hit at that time and I said to myself that the movie might be great. I was right. Thanks for writing about this.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • What a great song. Turn back Time by Aqua. I must admit I am new to them. The lyrics are great. I would get the same feeling from hearing how creative their music is. Sliding Doors stays in my memory. From the moment I first watched this film. It is one of magical journeys. Imagine this happening. What if it actually does and we are not aware of it. ;-) JkM

      VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. Try watching The Lovers on the Bridge and then see how it compares.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  6. You comment intrigues me. I went on a search of the film you mentioned, The Lovers on the Bridge. Watched the trailer but from comment below saying it did not represent the film very well. My partner located it, after I checked various other locations, Netflix has it on stream, free for those with a subscription. I am toward the end of The Words, 5th time through, so I am going to switch over to Roku and check this film out when it is over.

    I love Juliette Binoche, have since The English Patient, possibly before, and even more after Chocolat. After I see how it compares I will leave you a message. If it inspires me, as I think it will, I will write a full review, if I am able. :-) JkM

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Post a Comment

CommentLuv badge

All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove