Sensitive, intelligent but sombre drama
- The Sweet Hereafter review by Mr Aquarium
A lawyer visits a small, icy, Canadian town. There's been a school bus accident; children have died. He wants - though with perhaps misgivings - to create a lawsuit from this incident, having been first approached by one set of parents. He approaches other bereaved parents, and the surviving bus driver and teenage school pupil, who all have different reactions and stories to tell.
The film moves back and forth between the times before and after the accident. [You have to be alert to these shifts.] The lawyer has, himself, an ongoing tragedy to cope with; his young adult daughter is an angry drug addict. He seems to be losing her, just more slowly than the bereaved parent lost their children.
Should there been a court case to pursue damages? If so, who is to blame? Is no one, just terrible circumstance, to blame? Is it better to accept bereavement stoically or to seek an outlet? I've avoided plot details, and avoided commenting on the ending. There's a great deal more to this film, and the acting is superb. However, it's a thoughtful film; don't expect overplayed Hollywood dramatics. This film will stay with you, but you have to be in the mood for it....
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