7.6/10
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203 user 101 critic

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

R | | Drama | 21 November 1997 (USA)
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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 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 ... 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
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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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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El dulce porvenir See more »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicole (Sarah Polley) was an aspiring singer before the accident, and is seen on stage at various points in the movie 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 this movie. It was Polley's idea to re-work "Courage" for the closing credits, a version she personally sang. See more »

Goofs

In at least one scene, speeds were mentioned in "miles per hour". For a film set in British Columbia, km/h would have been much more likely. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Ararat' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

One More Colour
Words and Music by Jane Siberry
Courtesy of Wing in Music/Red Sky Music
Arranged by Mychael Danna
Vocal by Sarah Polley
Performed by The Sam Dent Band
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User Reviews

 
One of the great ones, but not for all tastes
16 September 2004 | by Carl_TaitSee all my reviews

"The Sweet Hereafter" was arguably the best film of the 1990s and is one of my twenty favorite movies of all time. Everything comes together perfectly: fine characterization and acting (especially by Ian Holm), beautiful photography, and a hypnotic musical score featuring Armenian folk instruments. The mood is deeply elegiac but never maudlin or weepy. There's not a false note in the movie.

But don't worry; I'm not going to start screaming, "If you don't like this movie, you just don't understand it! Go back to your Hollywood pablum, you cretinous moron!" That's a stupid argument in any case, and especially so here. There are going to be some people -- including a few art-house fans -- who will find this movie slow and tedious. For me and many others, however, the film is a masterpiece.

10/10


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