Synopsis: In a small American town still living in the shadow of a terrible coal mine accident, the disappearance of a teenage boy draws together a surviving miner, the lonely wife of a mine executive, and a local boy in a web of secrets. (Imdb)
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First time director Sara Colangelo might have made a little gem. Little Accidents, opening January 16th, this Sundance darling takes you deep into a world of small town miners. The film deals with the hardships of everyday life of these people that power our country, yet we know little about.
The movie begins with Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) being questioned regarding the mining accident in a small West Virginia town, that left him as the only survivor. The accident is never shown on-screen, only the aftermath. The story proceeds to introduce us to a mother and her two sons that have to deal with the consequences of losing a loved one in the mining accident. One of the boys, Owen, played by Jacob Lofland, is a central figure in the film’s storyline. Owen encounters a freak accident where JT Doyle, one of the town boys, dies in his presence. The unraveling of the mining accident, as well as the disappearance of JT, sends the town into upheaval.
Little Accidents is a dark and somber look into America’s hidden towns. It’s a bold concept that director Sara Colangelo delves deep into. There is nothing pleasing about this story. There are no hero’s, only victims. The movie is shot in gloomy and dark style. The town these people live in is a place you most likely wouldn’t want to visit. Their everyday lives are simple and hard. Colangelo centers the film solely on the characters. The three main characters featured in the film all face daunting challenges in their lives, even though their situations are completely different.
Boyd Holbrook, plays the miner Amos, who is the only survivor of the accident. Amos carries himself as someone who might have rather died in the accident, than being the lucky one that gets to live. Holbrook does a fantastic job of portraying the small-town, uneducated Amos. He plays the character in a simplistic, yet effective way. Elizabeth Banks is the most recognizable name in this film, her performance is unrecognizable. This might be Banks doing her finest work yet. There is no doubt Colangelo wrote one of her finest and complex characters for Banks to portray. This is a far leap for Banks, who is widely known for being a comedic actress. She plays Diane Doyle, a suburban wife who is removed from the mining world that her husband Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) presides over. Banks character is also the mother of the “missing” dead boy. The relationship she develops with Amos, links together two opposite worlds, in addition to a major conflict of interest. Jacob Lofland is a young actor that stands tall with the previously mentioned leads. His portrayal of a conflicted Owen is spot-on. His vulnerability shines throughout the movie, as he harbors JT’s death, while also having to take care of his mentally challenged brother.
Colangelo succeeds in her first feature film directorial debut. The writing should be applauded also. This is not a pleasant film. It’s a film that takes a look at the underbelly of our society. The film title, Little Accidents, is a microcosm of the major ramifications that engulf the story. Little mistakes can are not so little in reality, as this film illustrates. The film boasts some impressive performances, including Elizabeth Banks giving one of her best to date. The subject matter is one that usually isn’t portrayed on-screen, the film is a true character piece, interwoven within a mystery. Stories like this occur everyday, we are usually never exposed to them. Colangelo puts a magnifying glass on the part of American culture we might not want, or care to be exposed to. This film will not satisfy. The ending might even leave you feeling empty. This isn’t a movie for everyone by any means. People generally don’t like leaving a theater unsatisfied, without a proper resolution. Don’t expect this film to give what you might seek.
Little Accidents – 7.5 out of 10!
The underworld that powers America is quite gloomy