Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Sweet Hereafter. B

I admired 'The Sweet Hereafter.' It's an earnest, thoughtful drama that takes a difficult subject and handles it with comfortable ease. It's an emotional movie but none of the actors overplay their roles. It's well written and directed by Atom Egoyan and it features a small group of actors, led by Ian Holm, who give very different, but equally touching performances. The story examines the results of a school bus accident that kills several of the children riding on it. The bus driver survives, and by the performance given by Gabrielle Rose, we can sense that she feels more pain than any of the parents who lost their kids. Holm plays a lawyer who's trying help people get money for their losses. He has troubles of his own due to his shaky relationship with his daughter. If I didn't think this was a great film it's likely because I didn't feel its emotional impact. But it's indisputably there, just not for me because I haven't experienced any sort of great loss that would enable me to relate to the characters. Do I know that this is how people really act in the aftermath of a tragedy? No. I haven't gone through anything remotely close to it. But I can presume it's accurate. And even if I can't relate to the tragedy or feel the true emotion of the movie, I can see its power and that it is very special indeed. The only problem is that can I possibly sit through something as heartbreaking as this again?

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