It’s an odd feeling when you find yourself wanting to enjoy a film so bad, but it just doesn’t deliver. Little Accidents is a not a happy film (like, at all), but we do not dismiss a film just because it’s a downer. Not even the somber themes are what tore me up with this one. Sara Colangelo gives us a drama that has its shining moments, but also its strong defeats.
A coal mine accident shakes an American town to its core. Then the son of a mining executive goes missing. Everyone is looking for answers and comfort in the strangest of places, and times get tough. Every character sort of has these “little accidents,” we speak of. How does a lone survivor of an accident cope with his life after? How does the wife of the mining exec handle the disappearance of her son? And how does one teen suppress his guilty conscience?
Boyd Holbrook takes a chance as survivor Amos Jenkins, but ends up overshadowed in his performance. We can’t quite get a kick out of his character. Amos’ presence is so very dim that it really has no value in the entire film. The gorgeous Elizabeth Banks plays distressed wife/mother Diane Doyle. She is an important role in the film, definitely, but is also, at times, confusing. Her decisions are fueled by pain and it’s hard to figure out where she is going.
Probably my favorite part of the film is Jacob Lofland and his character’s struggle. He is Owen Briggs, son of a late minor involved in the incident, who gets tangled in his own troubles. Lofland, as you may remember, starred alongside Tye Sheridan and Matthew McConaughey back in Mud. Lucky for us, Lofland and McConaughey will be reunited onscreen in the upcoming Civil War drama Free State of Jones. Lofland is a young actor we need to keep our eye on! But back to our review…
Director Sara Colangelo can be seen as a novice in the film industry, having only a few shorts to her name and some technical background, but it is indeed a pleasant surprise to see this film come out of her skill. I must say that I did love the tone of the story and the way she set this raw and gloomy feel in the filming of Little Accidents. It is exactly what the film begs for. With this drama, it feels as though it’s projecting its mixed feelings onto us. It has some riveting scenes that make for a good story. If only the whole film was as good as its core concept.