Secret Window

David Koepp’s Secret Window, released on March 12, 2004, presents Johnny Depp with a considerable acting challenge: for much of the film, his character, a depressed writer named Mort Rainey, is onscreen alone. In his cabin in the woods, Mort struggles with two mammoth tasks: to break his writer’s block and to reconcile himself to an unwanted impending divorce. Neither task goes well; the wife Mort still yearns for keeps calling him, and a tall ominous-looking stranger arrives on Mort’s doorstep, insisting that Mort “stole” his story. Johnny portrays Mort as fierce, proud, vulnerable, and testy—a complex and bewildered man who uses sardonic wit and stubbornness to fend off intolerable pain. Sporting wildly mussed two-toned hair and a ratty bathrobe (possibly his estranged wife’s) unraveling even faster than his life, Johnny’s Mort is an unstable combination of fragility and fury.

--Part-Time Poet





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