Powerful drama concerns the aftermath of a tragic car accident that claims the life of a teenage boy.
Brosnan and Sarandon are pitch perfect as his parents, each dealing with the death in their own ways: mom obsesses over the boy’s final minutes and yearns to connect with the truck driver (Shannon, amazing in just one scene) who hit him but lies in a coma; dad avoids the subject, attempting to smooth things over with small talk. Mulligan (fresh off her Oscar nomination for An Education) shows up pregnant with the son’s child and is invited to live with the family.
The film emerges as a thematic counterpart to Ordinary People (1980) in exploring the ways that simmering tensions in the aftermath of a tragedy can have volatile – and at times redemptive – results. Oh sure, it has its share of clichés and dropped subplots but the movie works because the performances are so strong.
Sarandon has played similar parts in Moonlight Mile (2002) and In the Valley of Elah (2007) but she’s no less terrific in a demanding role here. In his post-007 career, Brosnan (also an executive producer) has become a dependable character actor capable of plumbing layers of emotional depth. Bring hankies.