Jennifer Bradley (Mare Winningham - Sharing the Secret) adores her three young children and would never do anything to hurt them or put them in jeopardy, allowing them to have fun dancing about in their underwear before they go to bed. Jennifer is also close to celebrated photographer Carrie (Felicity Huffman - Transamerica) who she has known since college and who is the children's Godmother. When Carrie takes some innocent snaps of the children larking about no one thinks any more of it. That is until Carrie drops of the roll of film with several others for processing as one of the technicians sees the pictures of half dressed children and hands them over to the police who in turn call Carrie in for questioning over suspicion of being involved in child pornography. Whilst the investigating officer sees nothing to be concerned about a Cincinnati detective thinks otherwise and decides to escalate matters with the children being removed from Jennifer whilst she is accused of abuse.
The protection of children is important, there is no one in their right mind who would say otherwise but it does make for a complicated situation as shown in the movie "Snap Decision", which is inspired by a true story. Here we have innocent photos taken of someone's children messing about half dressed but in the age of suspicion these are flagged up as being possible pictures of child pornography. It makes me think back to my own childhood and all those pictures that my parents took of me messing about in the paddling pool in the back garden and how now these innocent photos might send warning signals if they were sent to be developed. It is frightening how something innocent can now be seen as so dangerous and it is a sad state of affairs that things are like they are.
But whilst "Snap Decision" delivers this drama which highlights how twisted the world has become we also have the frightening aspects of a world turned upside down by what then happens. We see how Jennifer suddenly finds herself having the children removed from her by social services with the children's grandparents even turning against her. We also see how twisted it becomes as the police and the authorities seem more intent on getting a conviction rather than seeking the truth, unable to see the bigger picture and how their actions can destroy decent people, families and friendships.
Now the storyline is in itself powerful enough to be hard hitting and make you feel sick but it is also the casting which makes "Snap Decision" work. Mare Winningham is such a warm actress that even before things kick off we are on her side and when they do kick off we sympathize with her even more. It is very much Winningham who makes "Snap Decision" work but she is surrounded by a good cast none more so than the children who act so naturally that it just adds to the movie's frightening believability that a warm loving family can be shaken to its core by something innocent.
What this all boils down to is that "Snap Decision" is a powerful movie which not only highlights the sad state of affairs the world is in but also delivers a drama about the terrifying powers of the police when they get the bit between the teeth and go after a conviction.