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Plot, Details & Awards

The Deep End

Rated R for some violence and language, and for a strong sex scene.

R In Theaters 08/8/2001 , 99min.
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Plot & Details

A mother is drawn into a sinister web of blackmail while trying to protect her son in this drama. Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) is a wife and mother of three living in Lake Tahoe, whose husband is a Naval officer stationed in the Atlantic ocean. Margaret's oldest son, teenaged Beau (Jonathan Tucker), is gay and has become involved with Darby (Josh Lucas), a disreputable older man whom Margaret does not trust. Margaret confronts Darby and tells him to stay away from her son, but Darby isn't easily dissuaded, and he comes by the house late one night, leading to a fight between Beau and Darby. The next morning, Margaret discovers Darby's body on the beach, with an anchor piercing his chest. Not sure what to do, Margaret hauls Darby's body out to sea, and dumps it where she hopes it will not be found. Margaret tries to get her life back to normal, until a man named Alek (Goran Visnjic) appears at her door. Alek appears to know something about Darby's death, and he definitely knows about Beau's relationship with him; in fact, he has a videotape of Beau and Darby having sex, and he's prepared to make it public unless she'll pay him $50,000. Margaret is in no position to pay the money, but is desperate to protect her son and attempts to reason with Alek. Surprisingly enough, in time it works, and Alek withdraws his request for blackmail money. However, Nagle (Raymond Barry), a local crime boss whom Alek works for, is not nearly so generous. The Deep End was adapted from a novel by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding, The Blank Wall, which was previously filmed by Max Ophuls as The Reckless Moment.


Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2001 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Tilda Swinton Nominated

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2001 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actress Tilda Swinton Nominated
2001 Independent Spirit Awards Best Cinematography Giles Nuttgens Nominated

Sundance Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2000 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award Giles Nuttgens Won

Toronto Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2001 Toronto Film Critics Association Best Actress - Runner-up Tilda Swinton Won

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