Film Scouts Reviews

"The Sweet Hereafter"

by Cari Beauchamp

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Atom Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter," taking its cues from the Pied Piper of Hamlin, it tells the tale of a small community devastated by the loss of most of its children in a single school bus accident and the big town lawyer with his own traumas, played wonderfully by Ian Holm, who tries to redirect mourning into anger. Egoyan has been a Festival favorite since showing his "The Adjuster" in the Director's Fortnight and then winning the International Critic's Prize for "Exotica" in 1994. Character development is handled deftly and the camera and lightning use add greatly to the sense of isolation of the community. The constant back-and-forth of the plot action is challenging but engaging, and the dramatic sense of loss that only the death of children can bring tears the heart.

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