When the body of her 17-year-old son's predatory former gay lover washes up on their lakefront property one morning, Margaret Hall (Swinton) does what any desperate mother might do: she gets rid of the corpse. Not long after, small time hood Alek Spera (Visnjic) pops up on her doorstep, with an incriminating videotape and an impossible monetary demand. Ensuing negotiations make Alek sympathetic to Margaret's impossible position, but Alek's psychopathic boss (Barry) is less understanding.
In this vivid nail-biter, a remake of Max Ophuls's "The Reckless Moment," the underused, underrated Swinton gives a flawless performance as a woman who must carry on with the mundane details of her life while bearing a life-threatening burden alone. Visnjic excels as the conflicted middle-man, but Barry is most memorable as an impatient, cold-blooded gangster. Even with momentary graphic sex and some violence, the film's main dramatic tension derives from Swinton's character, and our appreciation of one mother's lonely, desperate predicament. Taut and suspenseful, "The Deep End" is not to be missed.