Sara Colangelo works rather understated and sensitively around socioeconomic issues and moral relativism in transforming her 2010 short film into feature length from a modest shoot on location in a coal-mining town. One that seems to capture some of the thematic resonance of well-acted pictures like North Country.
An unhurried, if occasionally persuasive, though finally too pat Little Accidents stars Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl,A Walk Among The Tombstones), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1), Jacob Lofland (Mud) and Josh Lucas (J. Edgar, The Lincoln Lawyer). The filmmaking provides an authentic moodiness to a small God-fearing community where pressure and pain go hand and hand.
Being the lone survivor of a tragic mining calamity isn't good for Holbrook's Amos who feels culpable based on working-class West Virginia denizen reaction as he may have insight into its investigation where the lives of ten men were suddenly taken.
Lofland's 14-year-old Owen, who lost his dad in the accident (and lives with a brother with Down's Syndrome played by Beau Wright and mother played by Chloe Sevigny) gets harassed at school by JT (Travis Tope) whose well-off father Bill (Lucas) is the mine's executive whose may not have been thorough enough when it came to the standards that an organization like OSHA advocates.
The tale's two conflicts intersect as Bill's wife Diane (Banks) distraughtly connects with Amos in a subplot which maybe doesn't resonate with other aspects of ambiguity that this small-scale drama with limited commercial theatrical potential presents. Grief, guilt and the clandestine is palpable with a forecasted turn of events of how hard it is being able to set oneself free especially when Owen becomes enmeshed in a troubling turn of events after a chase in the woods.
In some ways the writer/director is too wretched towards its characters, notably Banks, Lofland, and Holbrook pressured into intriguing places to offer various layers to their characterizations. The script benefits Lofland and, really, Holbrook the most when it comes to revelatory candor and assuredness from the mental and physical strains from the ramifications as well as the disaster itself.
The production of Little Accidents has enough polish and craftsmanship to paint some riveting sequences as many of the characters have more than enough to handle. Maybe too thorny and gloomy before a crucial narrative remedy, Colangelo's direction overshadows her storytelling in finding nuance in vividly depicting possible fortuitous adversity with subtle