Lindsay Wagner, who presents herself with equal ease and conviction as an ex-nun or as a car vidblurbist, turns up here as the former in a “fictional” number “inspired by actual events.” Unhappily, Shelley Evans’ script, pulled down by cliches, is only fitfully successful, and Sam Pillsbury’s direction is routine.
Molly (Wagner), the director of a Maryland crisis rape center, meets 16-year-old Sophie (Holly Marie Combs), who claims she was raped. Sophie, refusing help, tries disappearing without reckoning on Molly’s powers.
The girl finally tells all, including having once solicited a john in a bar, and Molly dutifully puts everything into a confidential file.
However, it seems the accused rapist is the wealthy son of the man who employs Sophie’s father; Sophie is trying to keep it to herself, but she decides to go after the son in court.
Repping the people is stalwart Joe Finn (Brian Kerwin), who’s really a softie; Sophie’s dad Nick (Victor Argo), on the other hand, won’t even talk to his daughter after hearing what she’s been doing in bars.
It boils down to Molly refusing to give the court her files and heading for the hoosegow, where she looks uncomfortable slaving over hot dishware. There’s an embarrassingly overdone scene in which a femme guard tries putting the make on Molly, and it’s best forgotten.
Molly is standing on a doubtful confidentiality principle, since she’s no lawyer, priest or doctor, and it looks like Sophie’s past will emerge to sink the case. “Sins of Silence” is talking about privileged info and trust, but it’s one-sided all the way.
Telefilm looks good, and James Bartle’s lensing is fine.
Wagner is wonderfully restrained until the breaking point comes and Molly can explain herself; Combs, with work on “Picket Fences” and soaps in her background , does a commendable job as Sophie.
But the accused rapist (Jason Cadieux) isn’t remotely explored, and the reliable Kerwin and Argo are stuck with flat roles. Sean McCann turns in a superior perf as the confident lawyer of the accused rapist, and co-producer Cynthia Sykes does a good job as Molly’s forceful defense lawyer.
But it’s Molly’s story, and Wagner knows how to play it out. She’s the actor to watch as the vidpic goes through its motions; wearing little or no makeup, expressing herself with a straightforward perf, Wagner pumps adrenaline into an otherwise flat, unsurprising drama.