Taking its cue from film noir of old, "The Deep End" is a small, claustrophobic thriller, set on the picturesque banks of Lake Tahoe.
Margaret Hall (Swinton) is a mother who's left to fend for herself, her three children, and father-in-law Jack (Donat) by a Navy husband who spends most of his time away at sea.
Beau (Tucker) is the eldest. A fey, trumpet-playing teen, his burgeoning - and so far secret - homosexual relationship with local sleazeball Darby Reese (Lucas) ends in tragedy, when Reese accidentally drowns while visiting the Hall's home.
Desperate to ensure her son is not suspected, Margaret gets rid of the body. She then finds herself targeted in a blackmail plot by a swarthy stranger (Visnjic), who has raunchy footage of her son and his lover together.
Lauded on the festival circuit, "The Deep End" is actually a rather dull movie, weighed down by its pretensions. Despite some sizzle between ER hunk Visnjic and an American-accented Swinton, it fails to go anywhere, and is far too predictable, detracting from the bizarre, slightly Twin Peaksy world that the writer/directors create for themselves.
They see themselves as film makers in the black-and-white tradition, but the best of those thrillers had a sense of urgency, of impending doom. This, unfortunately, does not, making ultimately for an unsatisfying lack of drama.