A small community is torn apart by a tragic accident which kills most of the town’s children. A lawyer visits the victims’ parents in order to profit from the tragedy by stirring up the their anger and launching a class action suit against anyone they can blame.
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Egoyan's most accomplished artistic achievement; the subtleties here are mesmerizing. A film this patiently paced and underplayed has no business being so gripping. Ian Holm, Sarah Polley and particularly Bruce Greenwood round out a powerful cast full of career-best performances.
Because we've all lost our children. They're dead to us. They're killing each other in the streets. They wander, comatose...shopping malls. Something terrible has happened. It's taken our children away. It's too late. They're gone.
Imagine if the tragedies of Fargo were played with a straight face, it might give you an idea of The Sweet Hereafter, a film that has no qualms showing you people in terrible situations who may or may not be terrible people themselves...or maybe that distinction is irrelevant. Sarah Polley is something else in this.
I found the style by which the narrative unfolds to be interesting, and there are some very tasteful shots of the British-Columbian mountains, but the movie is just way too goofy without meaning to be. It often feels like a Hallmark movie of the week, with characters who come off so cheesy that the film could be presented as a homage to Twin Peaks. Can't say I understand the acclaim this film has received.
A succinctly and perceptively structured meditation on mortality and tragedy that repeatedly hits the right emotional notes. Thematically, the various parallels and mirrors drawn by Egoyan are starkly sucessful and the themes explored are meticulously covered and intriguing. The atmosphere of mourning that pervades the narrative renders the film thoroughly immersive when laid along the serene pacing. Hence brilliant.
Deeply affecting even 10 years later. I hope it doesn't stand as the last great film Egoyan makes, but 'The Sweet Hereafter' is easily one of the most successful novel-to-film adaptations I've ever seen.
One of the most elegant, beautiful, and devastatingly tragic Canadian films of all time. Atom Egoyan (quite frankly, a very overrated filmmaker) has crafted his finest work, a story following a tragedy in a small community in British Columbia. What makes this so haunting is how simple and authentic everything is - the performances enabling such realism. A meditation on family, community, grief, and virtue.