28 October 2004 | jotix100
It's always gratifying to see an independent film that tackles a thorny subject, knowing well that any of the major studios won't dare to sponsor any director who is original and has a different way to present the story. Such is the case with Karen Moncrieff, a courageous new voice who is a first time director working with her own material.
The idea that school is a safe haven for the innocent, is the subject to this film. Meghan who comes from a recently broken home can't accept the idea of her parents living apart. When in school, she looks up to a male role model, perhaps trying to fill that void in her life. At the beginning of the film Ms. Moncrieff steers us into thinking one way, when in reality she wants to tell us there is another side to the apparently kind man who takes Meghan under his wing.
As we have witnessed by the recent wave of revelations of sexual impropriety in the Catholic Church, there are people that tend to go to jobs where they can prey on unsuspecting young minds, only to satisfy their own sick desires. The film is an eye opener for any impressionable young person into believing these people that befriend them don't have ulterior motives.
Agnes Bruckner, as young Meghan makes an excellent appearance in the movie. Equally effective is David Strathairn, as the teacher. This actor is always a welcome addition to any film. Margaret Colin, as the mother, gives a painful characterization as Diane, who must make ends meet and has her feet on the ground. Frances Fisher, is the jaded teacher's wife who has seen her husband get involved with other young girls before.
Ms. Moncrieff is a talent to watch.