Little Accidents

"Excellent"

Little Accidents Review


With a strikingly unflinching eye, newcomer Sara Colangelo astutely adapts her 2010 short into an evocative feature, beautifully capturing the impact a series of random tragedies can have on a community. It's gorgeously shot and sensitively acted by a skilled cast, and while the film remains a little too ambiguous for its own good, it still gets under the skin to leave us pondering some very hard issues.

It's set in a working-class West Virginia town that's still reeling after a devastating mining accident. The only survivor was Amos (Boyd Holbrook), who has been left injured both physically and psychologically. And it doesn't help that everyone is pressuring him to lie to the investigators while quietly resenting him for surviving. For support, he turns to Diane (Elizabeth Banks), the wife of the mine's manager (Josh Lucas). And Diane needs help too, because her teen son JT (Travis Tope) has gone missing. The only person who knows what happened is 14-year-old Owen (Jacob Lofland), whose father died in the accident. He was cruelly bullied by JT in school, and is struggling to keep his own secret.

The script is minimalistic, as Colangelo prefers to deepen the characters rather than construct a detailed plot. Sometimes this feels rather too understated, but it also allows the actors to create people who are remarkably involving. Holbrook is magnetic, the heart of the film as a damaged man looking for healing wherever he can find it. Banks is simply wonderful in a complex role that makes us wish she'd do more serious drama. And Lofland more than lives up to the promise of Mud with a darkly involving performance that continually catches us by surprise. These three characters circle around each other like wounded animals looking for help, but while the plot points that push them together might feel contrived, their interaction is earthy and very real.

Meanwhile, Colangelo vividly captures the tone of life in this kind of community in which everyone knows everybody else's business (it was shot in a real mining town). So even if the story feels a little thin and elusive, the film itself is packed with involving layers of drama and emotion that continually crack through the grim surfaces. What happens between these people is so packed with meaning that it can't help but make us think about our own lives. Not only does it offer hope to people in need of support, but it marks Colangelo as a filmmaker to watch.



Little Accidents

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Distributed by: Amplify Films

Production compaines: MindSmack Productions, Archer Gray, Maiden Voyage Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Sara Colangelo

Producer: Jason Michael Berman, , Thomas B. Fore, Summer Shelton

Starring: as Diane Doyle, as Amos Jenkins, as Kendra, as Owen, as Bill Doyle, as Nellie, James DeForest Parker as Basil

Also starring: ,

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