Festival de Cannes 70: The Sweet Hereafter, 1997

A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.

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The Sweet Hereafter grabbing the Grand Prize of the Jury (second place) still seems like a small defeat somehow, even given the terrific films in competition in 1997 – The Ice Storm, Taste of Cherry, The Eel, L.A. Confidential, Nil by Mouth, Welcome to Sarajevo etc. Exquisitely made, Atom Egoyan hits all the right notes here, a penetrating and beautiful film about the sadness that engulfs a small town. Egoyan actually pushed aside a project to make this, and his passion and care shows in the poignant, melancholic results. A deft touch for the human heart without resorting to sentimentality. As subtle and brilliant as the movie itself, Ian Holm plays a character with his own family troubles, not finding himself part of the community who have suffered an unimaginable loss. The rest of the cast shine so naturally, Sarah Polley stands out as a girl unable to conceal the truth amidst the dark.

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