[Film review] The Portable Door

Review by Michele E. Hawkins and John P. Harvey.

The trouble begins when Paul Carpenter (Patrick Gibson) wakes up late, his alarm clock having failed.  He could, with a rush, make it on time for his café job interview, if everything else goes right.  It doesn’t.  So it’s another day without even the prospect of a job.

Nonetheless, for reasons beyond comprehension, Paul eventually finds himself not making coffees in a local café but working as a paid intern for a driven boss, Humphrey Wells (Christoph Waltz), and his board of eccentric characters — in a business as to whose nature nobody is willing to enlighten him.  It’s perhaps not a very collegiate workplace, as no one, from the somewhat strange Mr Dennis Tanner (Sam Neill) to Paul’s fellow intern, Sophie (Sophie Wilde), thinks him competent to do anything.  But, intrigued by the mystery and by Sophie, he would like to do his best.  Mind you, that might necessitate knowing what he is supposed to be doing.  And merely trying to find that out may be… dangerous.

The Portable Door is a magical mystery adventure suitable for all ages but especially rewarding to adult fans of imaginative tales that breach the walls between realities.  With nary a spell spoken or a wand wielded, the thaumaturgy bubbling just beneath reality’s surface erupts to embroil our innocent characters in a truly dangerous scheme.

With an intriguing plot, well-sketched characters, timeless settings and props, imaginative costumes and make-up, great lighting, a very nice touch with interiors, beautiful graphics and special effects, and a captivating cast that includes Miranda Otto and Rachel House, this highly original adventure, delicious in detail and spectacular in execution, will demand repeated viewing.  Catch hold of The Portable Door before it vanishes — again.

Screening at Dendy cinemas.

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