MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,799 this week

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

 -  Drama  -  21 November 1997 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 23,684 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 187 user | 120 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

This film documents the effects of a tragic bus accident on the population of a small town.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 14 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 images
created 23 Apr 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 20 Aug 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 42 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

The Sweet Hereafter (1997) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Sweet Hereafter.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ice Storm (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

1973, suburban Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex, drink, etc., find their lives out of control.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A single mother's life is thrown into turmoil after her struggling, rarely-seen younger brother returns to town.

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo
Talk to Her (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
East of Eden (1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: James Dean, Raymond Massey, Julie Harris
Network (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch
Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Half Nelson (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

Director: Ryan Fleck
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Shareeka Epps
Boogie Nights (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a young man's adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Caerthan Banks ...
...
Tom McCamus ...
...
...
Risa
...
Wendell
...
Allison
Kirsten Kieferle ...
Stewardess
...
Wanda
Earl Pastko ...
Hartley
...
Bear
David Hemblen ...
Abbott
...
Sarah Rosen Fruitman ...
Jessica
Edit

Storyline

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. The community is paralyzed by its anger and cannot let go. All but one young girl, left in a wheelchair after the accident, who finds the courage to lead the way toward healing. Written by Matthew Tichenor <mticheno@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bus | children | anger | school | lawyer | See more »

Taglines:

Sometimes courage comes from the most surprising places. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De beaux lendemains  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

DEM 96,303 (Germany) (6 March 1998)

Gross:

$4,306,697 (USA) (3 April 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As indicated on Atom Egoyan's commentary track on the DVD, many people ask about the odd mask worn by the note-taker during the deposition scene. This is a Stenographer's Mask, an item which is used in real-life for the stenographer to record her own voice during the deposition. See more »

Goofs

When Stephens visits the Ottos, and Mr. Otto offers him some tea, we hear a teakettle whistling but the one we see on the cooker is not the whistling type. See more »

Quotes

Mason: Nicole, did the Pied Piper take the children away because he was mad that the town didn't pay him?
Nicole: That's right.
Mason: Well, if he knew magic, if he could get the kids into the mountain, why couldn't he use his magic pipe to make the people pay him for getting rid of the rats?
Nicole: Because... he wanted them to be punished.
Mason: So he was mean?
Nicole: No, not mean, just... very angry.
See more »

Connections

References Crash (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Dog Track Drizzle
Music by Mychael Danna
Lyrics by Sarah Polley
Performed by The Sam Dent Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not for everyone, but this melancholy film stays with you long after its over...
26 January 2000 | by (Phoenix, Az) – See all my reviews

I re-watched The Sweet Hereafter on video last night, and am still haunted by it today. It is structured so that you know some of the basic tragic plot near the beginning. This caused my eyes to water at some of the beautiful lyrical overhead tracking shots of the school bus winding through the snow covered roads of the Pacific northwest.

The film switches between the time that the lawyer arrives in town to "help" the families receive compensation, and to days just prior to the accident. We witness a loving "hippie" couple who has adopted a beautiful Native American boy, a loving mother of a school phobic learning disabled boy, and a widower who loves his two children a great deal and sees them off to school by following them in his truck. This same widower is having an affair with the mother of the school phobic--she is unhappily married to a "pig" of a husband. Complicating matters is the father who obviously loves his teenage daughter in Lolita-like fashion.

Part of the theme of The Sweet Hereafter is similar to Magnolia--accidents do happen--perhaps no one at fault... or perhaps all the adults had some part in it without anyone being at fault, as only the innocent children were killed.

The town had changed... tragedy has taken away the town's joy and innocence. The parents are no longer open with each other, but guarded, suspicious... in deep grief.

The lawyer is little more than an ambulance chaser, attempting to profit off their tragedy. Yet, he, too is a tragic figure who has already "lost" his daughter--

He had saved her when she was a baby, yet she has now turned away from him... and his feelings are now ambivalent towards her--he is a grief-stricken, defeated father, who vascillates between wanting to talk with his daughter on his cell phone and deciding to cut her off.

The story of the Pied Piper is interweaved between various events in the movie to give greater depth to the story. There's also a great scene in the movie between the lawyer and the garage mechanic, who has lost his two children, that shows that the theme is much broader than the literal story:

"I'm telling you this because... we've all lost our children, Mr. Ansel. They're dead to us. They kill each other in the streets. They wander comatose in shopping malls. They're paralyzed in front of televisions. Something terrible has happened that's taken our children away. It's too late. They're gone."

This movie isn't for everyone. It's a serious, layered piece with a lot of melancholy. The kind of fare that film critics can love, but Academy voters will avoid. But what it strives to accomplish is done very well. And it will stay with you long after the final scenes have appeared.


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
F-ing terrible bara0401
the most bone chilling moment in film BackFire83
questions Melissa_1982
Zoe's Hate stolives
Male V. Female: Who Got it? anti5er
Last shot georgeoscarbluth
Discuss The Sweet Hereafter (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?