The Sweet Hereafter

"Excellent"

The Sweet Hereafter Review


It's been over two years since Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan first came to my attention with his breakthrough film Exotica. Since then, I've become something of an aficionado of his works through home video, and it was with breathless anticipation that I awaited what was sure to be the movie that pushed him into the mainstream: The Sweet Hereafter.

Maybe I over-hyped it in my mind, becoming too hopeful in the face of overwhelming praise for the film. Or maybe I know Egoyan's tricks too well by now. Either way, I left the film extremely pleased but depressed: partly because the movie is such a downer, and partly because I know Egoyan can do even better.

This time around, Atom uses his multiple time-line storytelling to relay the events surrounding the tragedy when a school bus careens off an icy road in a sleepy town in the Great White North. When lawyer Ian Holm swoops in to build a negligence case against the bus manufacturer and the city, he becomes the unwitting agent as the revealer of the dirty secrets that everyone within seems to hide.

It almost sounds like David Lynch territory, and without his trademark glorious revelation--a scene the binds all the characters' lives together and which Egoyan traditionally ends his films with--it almost is. Instead of pumping up the mystery, Egoyan has opted for a slower pace of gradually revealing the secrets behind the facade... something that probably makes the film more accessible to the masses, but is less pleasing on the whole. Then again, Holm is in the role of his life here, and the movie is absolutely worth seeing if only for his performance.

Don't get me wrong. The Sweet Hereafter is a riveting film, one that I encourage you to see, as long as you aren't feeling suicidal, as it really is deeply depressing. At the same time, I also urge you to check out Exotica, Calendar, and The Adjuster on home video. If nothing else, you'll come out feeling normal, no matter how nuts you really are.

Holm goes home.



The Sweet Hereafter

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st November 1997

Box Office Worldwide: $3.3M

Budget: $5M

Distributed by: Fine Line Features

Production compaines: Fine Line Features

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 54

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Mitchell Stephens, Caerthan Banks as Zoe Stevens, as Nicole Burnell, as Sam Burnel, as Dolores Driscoll, as Risa Walker, as Wendell, as Allison

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.