The Portable Door 2023 Movie Review
There’s something about Christoph Waltz’ movies you can’t ignore. They are almost always awfully twisted and can spook you, and yet, they are also extremely immersive and appealing. And the Django Unchained star is doing it again with his upcoming film, The Portable Door. The fantasy adventure film also stars Sam Neill as the other villain (the first one being Waltz himself). The story of The Portable Door follows a lowly intern, Paul Carpenter, who ends up with a job at a secretive London firm managed by unconventional employers, including the mysterious CEO and a middle manager. Amidst the stiff-upper-lipped corporate environment, Paul and his co-worker Sophie discover that there’s a magical world hiding behind the closed doors of the firm, which the villainous CEO is trying to disrupt with his modern business practices.
Set to arrive this spring, The Portable Door is an Australian feature film directed by Jeffrey Walker and is an adaptation from the book series of the same name by British novelist Tom Holt’s. The source material is a seven-part series featuring the firm J.W. Wells &Co, the magical organization from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. Holt’s The Portable Door is the first book in the series, which features office politics with a fantastical twist. The film explores storylines and characters from the same. If you are a fan of fantasy stories, especially those involving magic and magical realms, then this is definitely a movie for you. And even if you aren’t, then the organizational oddity could pique your interest.
While you are waiting for the film to arrive, check out the quick guide below for all the details revealed about The Portable Door, including the trailer, plot, release date, cast and characters, and everything else.
It’s like The Consultant (another Christoph Waltz starter) meets The Magicians in the official trailer of The Portable Door. It’s probably because Christoph Waltz plays a similar role in this film as well as in his latest Prime Video series, both of which seem to be about a twisted, sinister boss. The two-minute trailer video dives right into the plot, where we see our protagonist, Paul, seeking a job at the mysterious London office. Even the panel of top management interviewing him seems a bit odd. Within seconds, the tempo of the narrative picks up, and the scenes get more exciting as Paul discovers a hidden blue door in the backrooms of the office. From there, it’s a whole new world that opens up for the young intern, and he must find out what’s behind it all.
There’s no way to tell when exactly the story is set, because though it appears to be set in the present day, the interiors of J.W. Wells & Co. seem quite dated, including the employers’ clothing, the office equipment, etc. However, the film’s overall vibe is like most classic fantasies, but with a more business-like setting. The art direction, as you can expect from these kinds of movies, is also quite impressive.
The Portable Door is headlined by Christoph Waltz, Sam Neill, Patrick Gibson, Sophie Wilde, and Miranda Otto. Christoph Waltz and Sam Neill lead the movie as the story’s charismatic villains, Humphrey Wells, the CEO, and Dennis Tanner, the middle manager of J.W. Wells & Co, respectively. Both Waltz and Neill are industry legends and this is the first time these two actors come together in a project. A two-time Academy Award winner, Waltz is best known for his roles as Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, both being Quentin Tarantino movies. He has also appeared in a long list of English-language movies like Horrible Bosses 2, Spectre, Alita: Battle Angel, and No Time to Die, and more, and that’s not to mention his international work. Waltz also directed and acted in the crime drama film Georgetown, and will be seen next in the thriller series, The Consultant.
Often described as one of the most versatile actors of his generation, Neill is most known for his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchises. He is also recognized for his roles in movies like Evil Angels, The Hunt For Red October, The Piano, The Hunter, etc., and in television series like The Tudors, Alcatraz, and Peaky Blinders. After The Portable Door, Neill will be next appearing in the movies Assassin Club, Scarygirl, and Bring Him to Me, and the upcoming Peacock miniseries Apples Never Fall.
OA star Patrick Gibson plays the role of Paul Carpenter, the new intern at J.W. Wells & Co’s while Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me) stars as Sophie Pentigel, Paul’s new friend and co-worker at the firm. Gibson is set to appear in a main role for the second season of Shadow and Bone. In other roles, the cast also includes Miranda Otto (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as Countess Judy, Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians) as Casimir Suslowicz, Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarök) as Nienke Van Spee, Jessica de Gouw (Pennyworth) as Rosie Tanner, Damon Herriman (Mindhunter) as Monty Smith-Gregg, and Christopher Sommers (Elvis) as Arthur Tanner.
The story of The Portable Door centers on Paul Carpenter, a lowly intern who somehow lands a job at the London firm of J.W. Wells & Co, combining elements of both otherworld fantasy (à la Narnia) and urban fantasy.
As he starts working at the company, he realizes that his employers and other staff members seem a little odd, especially the manager, Dennis Tanner, and the CEO Humphrey Wells. Paul also befriends another intern, Sophie, and together they begin to dig into the unconventionality of the company and its people. Soon, they learn that the two top employees of the organization are trying to disrupt the world of magic by implementing modern corporate practices and discarding the ancient ways. And so the two of them set out to reveal the real agenda of the top management and what it all means.