The Summer of Swinton "The Deep End"

The Deep End

"The Deep End" premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was a breakthrough role for actress Tilda Swinton.  She plays Margaret a fiercely protective mother of three who starts to lose her grip when her gay teen son is caught up in the murder of a nightclub owner.

The story takes place in Tahoe where Margaret is basically a single mother since her husband works on an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic.  Beau is her oldest at 17 and has been seeing the much older nightclub owner Darby.  She confronts Darby about their relationship at his club called the Deep End and tells him to stay away from Beau and offers him money.

Beau looks to be a good kid who always seems to be getting into trouble and making the wrong decisions.  He is a boy with an absent father and looks up to sleazy Darby.  One night he comes over to visit and they start to argue over his mother's visit and her offer.  A fight breaks out and things get out of hand.  Early the next morning Margaret finds Darby's dead body washed up on shore with a boat anchor lodged in his chest.  She furiously runs around hiding the body and the evidence fearing her son killed him. 

The next day a man appears at her door, it's not the police but it's just as bad.  Alek Spera (played by Goran Visnjic, who was on the show ER at the time) and his business partner are con men looking to blackmail her with a videotape of Darby and Beau having sex.  He wants $50,000 in 24 hours or he sends the tape to the police.  Although she tries she can't come up with the cash.  The next day when Alek comes to collect Margaret's live in father-in-law had just had a heart attack that moment.  He helps give CPR and eventually saves his life.  This starts off a very strange and interesting relationship between Alek and Margaret.  Alek is the stereotypical con man with a heart of gold.  He feels for Margaret's situation and tries to persuade his partner to call of the blackmailing.  This doesn't fly.    

This movie is all about Swinton's performance as a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her son, but also showing how lonely and vulnerable she is with her husband gone for long stretches of time.  Her strength and determination to protect her family and the lengths she is willing to go are remarkable even though she is not sure of her son's innocence.  All while taking care of everyone else and not letting on that something is seriously up.  This is a great character study and Tilda is amazing! So check it Out!