Review: Little Accidents (Sara Colangelo, 2014, USA)

Little Accidents is a film about the resilience and weathering of the human soul against an indifferent universe’s ‘little accidents’. The film takes place in a small American town after the tragic collapse of the local mine and the eventual disappearance of a child of one of the mine’s managers and follows how these accidents interlace the lives of people who would have otherwise gone on as strangers.

The script offers a convincing portrayal of life’s normality enabling the audience to feel as if they are persistently present, giving us characters so real that we see parts of ourselves inside each of them; feeling our hearts race as adrenaline floods their systems. Complimenting this realism is the use of camera angles that give us the view of characters’ perspectives and our own as if we were with them.

The soundtrack of dulcet melancholic tones adds to the transcendent quality of this movie which analyzes the human condition and how we fill the voids inflicted by loss by way of the avenues such tragedy unveil for us.

As this heart-wrenching realism is unfurled before our gaze, the micro expressions, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies that piece a person together are communicated by actors who truly become their characters and prove their worth in a film of such refined beauty. As the film strolls through the tale these characters are slowly interlocked with one another’s lives exposing the audience to empathise with strangers and fear for the state of their lives at the end of the film.

Boyd Holbrook, a relative newcomer, depicts a range of palpable emotion that shall surely win him awards in his future and Elizabeth Banks demonstrates her skill without a single breath out of place. Jacob Lofland, although young , shows great promise and offers the same grade of performance as his co-star whilst Chloë Sevigny and Josh Lucas continue to give the audience the sort of performances they want. Believable to say the least the cast come together as parts of the same whole breathing life into a script that conducts a symphony of emotional delicacy and the simple beauty of everyday life.

The film concludes as it begun, perfectly, with opening credits displaying pre-mine collapse and present darkness juxtaposed against one another the ending displays a truly poignant quality that leaves one utterly satisfied. Featuring the overlap of audio from the only survivor of the collapse describing what he recalls of being rescued, with scenes of a child leading police officers to proof of his guilt. The the final moments offer us the revelation that admitting the truth enables one to ‘breathe easy again’.

This is a masterpiece of astounding proportions likened best to Lost in Translation where the beauty is in the detail. Director Sara Colangelo has created a work of sublime beauty, evaluating the little accidents and lies that can change any person’s life.

Written by Lola Newman

(DVD out now)


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