On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello - beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from them forever. On a warm September evening, law associate Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son Lucas are attending a baseball game. Their favorite team, the Red Sox, is playing - and, hopefully, heading for the World Series. Dwight cherishes his time spent with Lucas. Driving his son back to his ex-wife, Lucas' mother Ruth Wheldon, Dwight heads towards his fateful encounter at Reservation Road. The accident happens so fast that Lucas is all but unaware, while Ethan - the only witness - is all too aware, as a panicked Dwight speeds away. The police are called, and an investigation begins. Haunted by the ... Written by
The gas station where the family stops is actually the Olde Blue Bird Inn in Easton, CT. See more »
At 1:21-1:22, when Ethan is in Luke's room and sees a picture of Luke and Dwight it is a horizontal picture. Yet when he picks it up, it is a vertical picture. There is only that one horizontal picture on the dresser. See more »
I want to get help. I want us to talk to someone.
Okay. You wanna talk to somebody, Grace? We'll talk to whoever you want. We can talk to the police, lawyer, a therapist. I'll talk to the goddamn Pope! Anything you want, okay?
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This is not only a riveting film that deals with courage and lack of it. This is a devastatingly eviscerating moral parable about a victim's need for closure and a perpetrator's battle with his guilt. Only a very few movies have dealt with the struggle between a man's tortured conscience and his denial on one side and mourning and letting go on the other. One story line brings Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment to mind while the other one evokes the story line of Brad Pitt's character in Babel.
Jennifer Connelly's depiction of a mother suffering an unbearable loss is so heartbreaking it cuts right through you with its fidelity to genuine real life pain. Joaquin Phoenix portrays desperation with such force you understand and sympathize with his character and what he's going through. The intensity and emotional impact of this movie is as great as The House of Sand and Fog, The Shawshank Redemption and Five Easy Pieces. The ending holds a thought-provoking revelation for the main character that reads like an epiphany as he understands what his only rescue is from the crushing injustice bearing down on him.
Reservation Road deserves to be considered a classic in retrospect since it has that unique power to hold you in its grip and not letting go until the credits roll. Every nuance in the narration achieves a resonance of truth and the viewers will be thinking for a long time about its implications on their lives. Ultimately it's a story about love and how the loss of what we treasure most changes our lives forever, how our undying love in the time of death makes us suffer and seek revenge and retribution but in the end prevail it all.
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