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Snap Decision (2001)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 4 June 2001
Single mother Jennifer Bradley often lets her young children run around and frolic at home in diapers, underwear or even the bare. She thinks nothing of it when their godmother Carrie Dixon... See full summary »


Alan Metzger


Randy Sue Coburn (story), Ara Watson (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mare Winningham ... Jennifer Bradley
Felicity Huffman ... Carrie Dixon
Chelcie Ross ... Det. John Collins
Megan Fahlenbock ... Sarah Jenkins
Ronn Sarosiak Ronn Sarosiak ... Steve Godwin
Chuck Shamata ... Jack Bradley
Amy Zell Amy Zell ... Lauren Bradley
Alex Gaistman Alex Gaistman ... Sophie Bradley
Alexander Cameron Drogemuller Alexander Cameron Drogemuller ... Luke Bradley (as Alexander Drogemuller)
Marcia Bennett ... Barbara
Natalie Sanborn Natalie Sanborn ... Brandi
Kevin Jubinville ... Ted Jenkins
Karen LeBlanc ... Eliza Hunt
Sugith Varughese ... Dr. Nayyar
Susan Henley Susan Henley ... Myra


Single mother Jennifer Bradley often lets her young children run around and frolic at home in diapers, underwear or even the bare. She thinks nothing of it when their godmother Carrie Dixon, Jen's best friend since college, joins in and shoots 36 pictures of their rumbling. But the photo lab reports, as the law and the Bush era 'moral majority' prudish mentality require, reports this 'possible child pornography' to the police. Chicago PD detective John Collins takes the case. The children are placed in temporary custody with their grandparents by the court at Social Services' initial recommendation. Attorney Steve Godwin accepts to defend his friend Jen. The case seems to cool, but then Jen is arrested and tried for multiple child abuse. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One mother must fight back to prove her innocence or lose her children.




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 June 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Snap Judgment See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

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User Reviews

aka Snap Judgment
23 October 2002 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

What is it with Mare Winningham and photo labs? After her 1991 Fatal Exposure TVM, Winningham is in photographic trouble again! Here Winningham is Jennifer Bradley, a Cincinatti internet web site designer and mother of 3 - 7 year old Lauren (Amy Zell), 4 year old Sophie (Alex Gaistman) and toddler Luke (Alexander Cameron Drogemuller) - whose Chicago friend Carrie Dixon (Felicity Huffman) takes photographs of as they innocently play semi-naked. However the photo lab that develops Carrie's pictures sends the contact sheet and negatives to the police, fearing child abuse and child pornography.

Winningham carries extra weight as the mother of 3 children and wears blonde hair. Her anger at the situation is expressed in hushed tones when she is initially questioned, and controlled emotional anger when she says `Shame on you' to the prosecutors for the way they have cropped the photos to distort their intent. Winningham's face changes from crushed sadness to a smile in close-up when she sees Lauren looking at her, lowers her head in shameful disappointment when her lawyer Steve Godwin (Ron Sarosiak) tells her of the negative reaction of a focus group to the photos, and captures our empathy when she cries `My babies' at the idea of life without her children.

The teleplay by Ara Watson and Sam Blackwell, based on a story inspired by real events by Randy Sue Coburn, presents a tale of injustice since we are witness to the behavior that created the photographs, including how some of them were actually taken by Lauren. Jennifer is also such an earth mother that the idea of her being duplicitous is inexplicable -she even stops Godwin from cross-examining a prosecution witness Sara Hawkins (Megan Fahlenbock) who is also in the photos because Sara is pregnant. However Carrie's character retains some doubt, partly because of the poor performance of Huffman. Having Carrie a cancer survivor is presumably meant to make her a fighter but as it is, the cancer only attaches a level of illness to her. Jennifer also recognises that the question of innocence is irrelevant once the tag pornography has been projected onto images - and the drive to prosecute Jennifer and Carrie is motored by the far creepier Cincinatti Detective John Collins (Chelcie Ross).

Director Alan Metzger uses a hand-held camera for the photography scene to allow for the freestyle interraction of the children, and also explain the multiple and un-posed nature of the session.

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