7.7/10
26,138
195 user 120 critic

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | | Drama | 21 November 1997 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 52 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Exotica (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The 'Exotica' is a nightclub on the outskirts of Toronto, where Eric, DJ and MC, watches nightly as his ex-girlfriend Christina performs. Watches jealously, especially as far as the extra ... See full summary »

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Don McKellar
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Imagine it is summer and that, for the last several days, Montreal has been swimming in sweltering heat and smog. Then imagine that you are in the city's downtown core and a woman holding a... See full summary »

Director: François Delisle
Stars: Joseph Bellerose, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Frédérick De Grandpré
Molière (1978)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Who was Moliere? He is known everywhere as one of the world's greatest playwrights. But who was he? Born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin in 1622, the son of a prosperous tapestry maker. His mother ... See full summary »

Director: Ariane Mnouchkine
Stars: Philippe Caubère, Marie-Françoise Audollent, Frédéric Ladonne
Abracadabra (1970)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Inon (1972)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Stars: Luc Durand, Budd Knapp
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Taratata (1977)
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Frédéric Back
Illusion (1975)
Short | Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A magician tries to lure the children away from nature with his tricks.

Director: Frédéric Back
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In Quebec 40s, orphans or abandoned children are placed in a gigantic psychiatric hospital where children were locked. Were they sick? No, they simply had no family. To escape this ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Jutra
Stars: Paule Baillargeon, Ginette Boivin, Lisette Dufour
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An experiment in abstract film-making, this short film (as it name implies) consists only of vertical lines, drawn directly onto each film frame, that change in response to music.

Directors: Evelyn Lambart, Norman McLaren
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A robbery at the secluded country home of a wealthy old man goes horribly awry.

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Luce Guilbeault, Marcel Sabourin, René Caron
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 All (203) »

Taglines:

There is no such thing as the simple truth. 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:

$31,149 (USA) (10 October 1997)

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

Nicole: As you see her, two years later, I wonder if you realize something. I wonder if you understand that all of us - Dolores, me, the children who survived, the children who didn't - that we're all citizens of a different town now. A place with its own special rules and its own special laws. A town of people living in the sweet hereafter.
See more »


Soundtracks

Courage
Words and Music by The Tragically Hip
Sam Dent version arranged by Mychael Danna
Vocal by Sarah Polley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Bus Plunge
11 November 2004 | by (anywhere everywhere) – See all my reviews

Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter is a drama of loss and internal conflict within and among the people of small town which has lost its children to a winter bus crash. The central figure is Mitchell Stephens (Ian Holm), a lawyer who comes to the town in the hope of putting together a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving families.

Egoyan drags bitter and emotional performances out of his excellent cast, and managed to make me fall in love with a group of characters who, on the surface, are less than appealing. Every major character in his adaptation of Russel Banks' novel is morally bifurcated and riven with doubt.

Particularly interesting from a social perspective is the treatment of Stephens' mission. I thought the lawyer's efforts to put together his suit were played even-handedly, somewhere between the greed of an ambulance-chaser cynically exploiting a local tragedy and the difficult but necessary effort to use a flawed legal system to achieve a kind of justice. But the friends who saw it with me saw Stephens strictly as a "slimeball," placed there to test and tempt the struggling townspeople. If that's the impression that most viewers get, then I'm disappointed.

Whatever your perspective on that social question, there's no denying the slow power of this film. It moves with the measured fascination of inevitability, and leaves you with a bitterness you can savor.


42 of 51 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
Male V. Female: Who Got it? anti5er
Zoe's Hate stolives
questions Melissa_1982
Last shot georgeoscarbluth
Discuss The Sweet Hereafter (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?