The Sweet Hereafter (1997)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Canada, 1997, , , , , .  Screenplay by Atom Egoyan, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Atom Egoyan, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1997Boston Film Critics Awards 1997.  Cannes Film Festival 1997.  Independent Spirit Awards 1997National Board of Review Awards 1997.   New York Film Critics Awards 1997Online Film Critics Awards 1997.  Toronto International Film Festival 1997.

Atom Egoyan’s critical hit drama is a sometimes precious but effective and haunting film.  Ian Holm is the bloodsucking lawyer who visits Alberta in order to rally up its residents and get himself a job as their legal representation, should they want to sue the company that manufactured a bus that killed many children in an accident. Visiting all the residents of the city, he finally comes to one of the tragedy’s few survivors (), who unwittingly has the fate of her town thrown into her deciding hands. Egoyan’s crafty camera and sharply written script (based on the novel by Russell Banks, see also Affliction) guide a terrific ensemble of actors ( and being stand-outs), so that even Polley’s monotoned performance is not a detraction.

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