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The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | | Drama | 21 November 1997 (USA)
Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Holm ... Mitchell
Caerthan Banks Caerthan Banks ... Zoe
Sarah Polley ... Nicole
Tom McCamus ... Sam
Gabrielle Rose ... Dolores
Alberta Watson ... Risa
Maury Chaykin ... Wendell
Stephanie Morgenstern ... Allison
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
Learn more

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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 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sarah Polley and Maury Chaykin later appeared in Jerry and Tom (1998). See more »

Goofs

When Stephens visits the Ottos, and Mr. Otto offers him some tea, we hear a tea kettle whistling but the one we see on the wood stove is not the whistling type, and there is no steam coming from the kettle. See more »

Quotes

Mitchell Stephens: [speaking of his estranged daughter's feeling for him and her mother when she was a child] She loved us both equally then... Just as she hates us both equally now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Daydream Nation (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sweet Hereafter
(uncredited)
Music by Mychael Danna and Sarah Polley
Lyrics by Robert Browning
Performed by The Sam Dent Band
See more »

User Reviews

 
Exceptional
12 February 2000 | by crashnburn1984See all my reviews

There aren't many films that unfold with a true grace, like a bird spreading it's wings in a beautifully restrained manner. "The Sweet Hereafter" is one of them, it is an engrossing film that doesn't rely on emotional manipulation to effect it's viewer, it tells a tale like it is, and in the end, that is exactly what makes it so good. The film studies a small Canadian town in the face of tragedy, and carefully layers a series of intertwining stories involving a handful of locals who have all been impacted by the occurence. Every character seems to have a normal life at first, but as the film progresses, it becomes clear that they do not. They are emotionally void people who all harbour secrets and lies, and as much as they want to believe what they're doing is right, deep down they know it's not. Intense emotions of guilt and grief run through them, but for unusual reasons. "The Sweet Hereafter" examines the things that surface after the wake of a tragedy, after the eminent shock and sorrow, how people's lives become so deteriorated and barren. The film skillfully uses different perspectives, places and time to explore the span of everything involved, asking why some things in the universe are out of our control, and if they happen for a reason. I was impressed with the film's meticulous structure, every frame is measured delicately to maximise it's power, and it works 100 percent of the time. From stark to striking, it's visuals work just as well as it's intellect. Ok, so Russell Bank's novel is a bit clearer, but Atom Egoyan's take on it is just as effective, if not more. Another thing that makes this film shine are it's performances, Sarah Polley and Ian Holme are both superb, both exude with a gentle sadness that genuinely convinces. In all, "The Sweet Hereafter" is a film that needs to be seen, it is a beautifully realised and haunting film that's virtually impossible to forget.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sweet Hereafter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,149, 12 October 1997

Gross USA:

$3,263,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,263,585
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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