Thursday, 12 August 2010

Accidents Happen 2009

I love it when a film just takes you by surprise. Sneaks up behind you in the shadows, reaches around, grabs you by the throat and lifts you high into the air, only to slam you down onto the brutal, unforgiving concrete.

This Andrew Lancaster/Brian Carbee movie is one of the most heart-wrenching movies I have seen for a long time. My eyes are still burning from watching it. The strangest part is, I bought it for no other reason than I liked the look of the sleeve. Call it my one random purchase of the month. I love films like this though. Films that tell a story of human emotion and loss, that we can all relate to, or will relate to sooner or later. I would take ten of these films over any Die Hard type film, any day of the week.

It's not a complicated story in any way. It's the story of two families and their losses through the years, linked by the friendships between their children. It's filmed beautifully, with great care and attention to composition and colouring, which pays off. I love the slow motion that occurs whenever an accident is happening.

All of the actors play their roles beautifully, and sucked me in very early on. I was especially impressed by Geena Davis. Her stand-out scene was near the end, where she finds closure with her vegetable son, Gene. She acts it better than i've seen anybody act before. The young actors don't let the elders down either, unlike many other films where they have to be trusted with major roles. This bunch put the ridiculous child actors in Eastenders to shame. Even the fat brother who I disliked in the beginning (Harry Cook, who plays Larry Conway), acted so well you just had to appreciate the authenticity he brought to his role.

Another great thing about this story and the acting, is that many times, it brought me tears and laughter combined. It does that so well. The best example is of the daughter of Bob at the funeral. The overall mood of the story at this point is sombre and low, but you have to laugh at her, hugging everybody within 10 feet who's ever been touched by disaster in their lives.

I did find the voice-over (narration) as a framing device to be a bit pointless, as the images were more than enough to convey anything we were told through V.O. However, that's just my opinion. As pointless as it seemed, it didn't irritate me, or hurt the story at all.

The twist at the end was kind of predictable, and I saw it coming as soon as the Police admitted finding no bowling ball at the crash scene. But again, the fact that it was predictable didn't ruin it at all, because the scene between Mrs. Smolensky and Billy is so well written that you just get lost in profound thought.

This film is a great combination of many things that combine in perfect harmony to make us laugh, cry, gasp and whince. Hollywood does produce a lot of crap these days, but when I see movies like this come from a studio like Fox, I like to think that there is hope yet.

Accidents Happen is a must-see. 9/10.

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