Director: John McNaughton
Feature film | USA | 1998
38th Hof International Film Festival
Kelly Van Ryan, a seductive beauty from Blue Bay’s upper crust, has more than a passing schoolgirl crush on her sex guidance counsellor at Blue Bay High School, Sam Lombardo. After she and a friend wash Sam’s jeep for a school fundraiser, Kelly slinks into Sam’s house sporting a beguiling smile and a very wet T-shirt …
The next day, a distraught and teary-eyed Kelly confesses to her mother that Sam sexually assaulted her. Days later, Suzie Toller, a social outsider, comes forward claiming that Sam had previously raped her, as well. Reeling from the allegations, Sam consults Ken Bowden, the only lawyer he can find who will dare touch this seemingly open-and-shut case.
Before long, the scandal has its tentacles wrapped around virtually everyone in Blue Bay, from well-to-do attorney and country club fixture Tom Baxter, whose daughter, Barbara, is Sam’s current flame, to Ruby, proprietor of Smilin’ Jack’s Fish Camp, a rundown local hangout whose primary attraction is Ruby’s alligator-wrestling son, Walter. Secrets mount, until nothing’s sacred in Blue Bay, where beneath the sheen of high society and police propriety a bizarre labyrinth of truth and illusion exists.