Reviews

The Sweet Hereafter

4

Atom Egoyan's heart-wrenching adaptation of Russell Banks' novel

After Exotica’s (1994) crossover clout, Atom Egoyan sustained its winding plot, themes of loss and keen emotional control with this wrenching riff on Russell Banks’ novel.
 
An attorney (Ian Holm) visits a snow-caked town devastated after the deaths of 14 children, presenting himself as the town’s saviour; his own motivating traumas soon emerge.
 
As Holm unveils a tapestry of grief (Sarah Polley’s cameo resonates), Egoyan’s framing highlights feelings too complex to admit closure. It all leads to a moving meditation on the very thing that humanises and dooms us: the quest for meaning.

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