'Hollow Reed'

This 1996 British production is one of those intelligent, understated traditional-style films in which fairly early on you think you know where it's headed. Even so, you can be caught up in this taut, excellent 1997 British picture because it has such an acute grasp of the twists and turns of human psychology and emotions and becomes loaded with a deeply involving, increasingly harrowing suspense. Martin Donovan plays an English physician, settled into a solid relationship with another man, Tom (Ian Hart) but has only limited access to his 9-year-old son Oliver (Sam Bould, center). Oliver lives with his mother, Hannah (Joely Richardson, pictured), and her lover Frank (Jason Flemyng, right), an architect who is not what he seems (Cinemax Wednesday at 11:30 p.m.).

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