Adapted from the Russell Banks novel, this is Egoyan's warmest and, despite the sophisticated time structure of the fragmented narrative, his most conventional film to date. Holm is the big-city lawyer - with family problems of his own - who starts investigations into a tragic school bus accident that has robbed a remote rural community of all but one of its children, in the hope of persuading the parents to sue for compensation; inevitably, they react in different ways to his solicitude. Beautifully performed, edited and shot (the crash itself is extraordinarily effective), the film is certainly sensitive in its treatment of grief, guilt and anger, and strong on atmosphere. Whether it finally offers any fresh insights into how a community is changed by such a tragedy is less certain.
The Sweet Hereafter
Cast and crew