Cinema Review: Little Accidents | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, August 3rd, 2020  

Little Accidents

Studio: Amplify
Directed by Sara Colangelo

Jan 15, 2015 Web Exclusive
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Happy is by no means an adjective that can be applied to director Sara Colangelo’s feature debut, Little Accidents. Set in a small, blue-collar American town, the film tracks the fallout of a terrible mining accident that left ten men dead. Elizabeth Banks flexes her dramatic muscles—surprisingly effectively, for the record—as Diane Doyle, wife of the foreman who overlooked safety concerns that ultimately led to the fatal mine collapse. Already besieged by tremendous distress, the couple’s grief is compounded when their son, JT, goes missing. As an investigation into the mining accident threatens to rip the only industry from the struggling town, Diane develops a romance with the sole surviving miner, a man whose testimony will make or break the investigation.

Though Diane’s extramarital affair has the closest connection to the mining community’s future, the true relationship at play in the film is between Diane and high-school freshman, Owen. Played wonderfully by Jacob Lofland (Mud), Owen struggles to cope with a secret that threatens to drown him. He knows exactly what happened to JT. He knows where JT is, and that JT will never come home. In fact, he’s to blame for it. It is this guilt, which drives him to Diane, and Lofland’s understated performance perfectly scores every emotional cross Owen bears. Make no mistake about it—we will be seeing plenty more of Jacob Lofland in the years to come, and that is something to be thankful for. He is a genuine and sympathetic talent, someone whose presence on screen is wholly believable every time he appears.

Writer-director Sara Colangelo has been garnering multiple awards and nominations for her first feature, including an Independent Sprit Award Nomination for Best First Screenplay. The story is honest and insightful, if not somewhat predictable at times. Colangelo’s directorial prowess is evident through her beautifully framed shots and the strong performances she elicited from her actors. Put her down as a filmmaker to watch, as you watch her debut film.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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