7.6/10
29,478
202 user 101 critic

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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:

Atom Egoyan

Writers:

Russell Banks (novel), Atom Egoyan (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 53 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Exotica (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man whose daughter recently died becomes obsessed with a dancer in the night club Exotica.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Don McKellar
Calendar (1993)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A photographer and his wife take photographs of Armenian churches for use in a calendar. Their driver, a local resident, expounds on the history of the churches while the wife translates. ... See full summary »

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Arsinée Khanjian, Ashot Adamyan, Atom Egoyan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman leaves Ireland to find her boyfriend in England, and while there is helped by a man hiding unsettling secrets.

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Arsinée Khanjian, Elaine Cassidy
The Ice Storm (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.

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

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Holm ... Mitchell Stevens
Caerthan Banks Caerthan Banks ... Zoe Stevens
Sarah Polley ... Nicole Burnell
Tom McCamus ... Sam Burnell
Gabrielle Rose ... Dolores Driscoll
Alberta Watson ... Risa
Maury Chaykin ... Wendell
Stephanie Morgenstern ... Allison
Kirsten Kieferle Kirsten Kieferle ... Stewardess
Arsinée Khanjian ... Wanda
Earl Pastko Earl Pastko ... Hartley
Simon Baker ... Bear
David Hemblen ... Abbott
Bruce Greenwood ... Billy
Sarah Rosen Fruitman 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

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El dulce porvenir See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,149, 10 October 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,252,652, 12 April 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Polley's character, Nicole, was an aspiring singer before the accident, and is seen on stage at various points in the film performing The Tragically Hip's "Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)" and Jane Siberry's "One More Colour". The Tragically Hip's original version of "Courage" also appears in the film. It was Polley's idea to rework "Courage" for the closing credits, a version she personally sang. 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

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

Bus Plunge
11 November 2004 | by garellaSee 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.


44 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 202 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed