Reservation Road (2007)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA/Germany, 2007.  Focus Features, Random House Films, Reservation Road, Miracle Pictures, Nick Wechsler Productions, Volume One.  Screenplay by , Terry George, based on the novel by John Burnham Schwartz.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Two families are destroyed by a tragic car accident:  and  are torn with grief after their son is killed in a hit and run accident, while perpetrator  lives with his guilt after fleeing from the scene in a moment of panic. Connections in this peaceful Connecticut hamlet are frightening as Ruffalo’s ex-wife  turns out to be the deceased boy’s music teacher, while Ruffalo’s legal services are hired by Phoenix as protection against the possibility that his son’s killer, whose identity is unknown to him, might use legal loopholes to get out of paying his due for his crime. Terry George’s adaptation of John Burnham Schwartz’s novel is a dramatic, engrossing drama whose sympathetic characters and richly powerful photography work in its favour. As a rehash of similar movies like In The Bedroom it hardly stands above the crowd, and Phoenix’s performance tests all patience with his wild-eyed mumbling, but his connection with Connelly is genuine and Ruffalo’s desperation for redemption is wholly moving. Sorvino is excellent as a frustrated woman who cannot seem to get to a peaceful place with her ex-husband, and sadly she is underused and her story left woefully underdeveloped, while the conclusion is under baked but relieving.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2007

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