The Sweet Hereafter, The Sweet Hereafter MovieReview, Movie Review, Rilm Review
|Michael A. Maynez|
"The Sweet Hereafter"
Easily one of the first flicks for the ten worst of 1997. Yet this movie has captured an incredible eight Genie Awards (Canada's Oscar). It is certainly a puzzler, with great critics falling all over the place, with adjectives like; spellbinding, luminous masterpiece, stellar, mesmerizing, a film of rare insight and wisdom, a film that soars with silence.
The novel approach of the opening credits, promises much, but delivers little. A naked little child sleeping between his parents as the camera angles move it around gets your attention right away. A man trapped in a car wash having to escape by using his umbrella so that he doesn't get too wet. It turns out to be Ian Holm, a lawyer with a mission, who wants to file a class action suit on behalf of children who die in a terrible school bus accident in which the bus plunged into an icy lake. A town's conscience is portrayed by the woman bus-driver, played by Dolores Driscoll, Bruce Greenwood, who loses his children in the accident, is also responsible for having been the last one to service the bus. The town's division of the accident as told by two representative couples, Arsinee Khanjian and Earl Pasko, as the better educated couple and Maury Chaykin and Alberta Watson, who run a motel, leaves so much to be desired in their characterizations.
The director Atom Egoyan, who received three awards at the Cannes Film Festival for this misfiring and who worked from the novel of Russell Banks is one that leaves you singing, "What's it all about Alfie, is it just for the moment we lived". I forgot to mention the fact that Ian Holm has a daughter that he is disassociated from and can only communicate by cellular phone, as if he didn't have enough problems, of course it is suppose to point up the loss, not only of the bus children but of our grown up children that we lose through our own lack of communication.
The Sweet Hereafter
Produced by: Camelia Frieberg, Atom Egoyan
Directed by: Atom Egoyan
With: Ian Holm
Executive producers: Robert Lantos, Andras Hamori
Associate Producer: David Webb
Line Producer: Sandra Cunningham
Music by: Mychael Danna
Sound designer: Steve Munro
Edited by: Susan Shipton
Customer Designer: Beth Pasternak
Production designer: Phillip Barker
Director of photography: Paul Sarossy
Screenplay by: Atom Egoyan
Based on a novel by: Russell Banks
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Original Date Sunday 28 December 1997
Updated Sunday 28 December 1997