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Ghost Canyon

'Little Accidents'
(Josh Lucas, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Lofland, Elizabeth Banks, Chloe Sevigny, et al / DVD / R / 2015 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Overview: When a teenage boy goes missing in a small town already devastated by a fatal mining accident, three strangers find themselves drawn together in a tangle of secrets, lies, and the collective grief of the community.

DVD Verdict: My goodness, this film is so gritty, so raw, so, well, dirty re: coal! It's a given that tragic death in a small town stays forever, impinging on virtually every life now and hereafter. First-time writer-director Sara Colangelo's Little Accidents, set in a coal town, echoes 'The Sweet Hereafter's frozen aftermath of children's deaths aboard a bus plunging into a pond. Both involve decisions to reveal or not the culpable parties; both intercut among those players who are most affected by the tragedy.

Young Owen (Jacob Lofland) witnesses the death of JT (Travis Tope) and hides the truth. JT is the son of manager Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) and Owen is a deceased coal miner's son. The accident that killed his dad and nine others is under investigation as the union fights to suppress testimony from conflicted survivor Amos (Boyd Holbrook, who reminds me of Keith Carradine) that would incriminate the coal company and shut down the mine.

You can see the inter-connections, as is true in any small town, and the inherent conflicts, exacerbated by the closeness and the sometimes illicit connections, such as JT's mom, Diana Doyle (Elizabeth Banks), and Amos. Colangelo keeps the plot slowly moving ahead while some characters and events border on the formulaic. When Owen helps Diana with her garden, the plot takes an unfortunate contrivance tack. Yet the drama is still effectively bound to us as figurative for communal responsibility and domino-effect relationships and tragedies.

The film has some excellent cinematography as it was shot on location by the talented cinematographer Rachel Morrison. The music, with a haunting score by Marcelo Zarvos, manages to convey the bleak mining town atmosphere utilizing a lone piano and a few violin notes. Watch this film tonight but not alone! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.AnchorBayEntertainment.com





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