As indicated on Writer and Director Atom Egoyan's commentary track on the DVD, many people ask about the odd mask worn by the notetaker during the deposition scene. This is a stenographer's mask, an item which is used in real-life for the stenographer to record his or her own voice during the deposition.
Premiere Magazine voted this movie as one of "The 25 Most Dangerous Movies". (In the description for the list, the magazine stated, "These are movies about which you could say, 'That's not entertainment'. They're not 'rides' nor 'diversions'. They are galvanizing experiences that place squarely in your face all the stuff Hollywood usually presumes you go to the movies to get away from. Films that rearrange your head, that challenge your bedrock ideas about life and love and the big sleep. Consciousness-expanders, in other words, but rarely in a pleasant way. Thank God for them.")
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.
Paul Gross auditioned for the role of Billy Ansel, but was passed over because of his looks. Atom Egoyan said in October 13, 1997 issue of the Canadian magazine Maclean's, "Paul is a very fine actor, and I was really close to casting him. The problem is that he is really good-looking. Paul is very pretty, Bruce (Greenwood) looked rougher."
Both this film and Affliction (1997) - which are adaptations from Russell Banks's novels - were made on the exact same year and had the distinction of receiving two Oscar nominations each in major categories. However, they not competed on the same awards seasons due to Affliction (1997) getting a major release in 1998 for the following year competition where it won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.