I just saw Reservation Road, a Terry George film released in 2007 starring Mark Ruffalo, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Connelly, and Joaquin Phoenix. I’m not sure how to best categorize this movie, whether as suspense or as a psychological study. One thing is for certain: The film depicts every parent’s worst nightmare.
The catalyst occurs early in the film: Mark Ruffalo’s character, an attorney and divorced dad, is driving down a rural road with his son late at night and swerves to avoid oncoming traffic. The swerve, an event that occurs in a blink of an eye , sets off a horrifying chain of events that haunt Ruffalo along with Joaquin Phoenix’s character (and his family) for the remainder of the film.
The film could have been maudlin and depressing to watch. However, it’s impossible to see this film without empathizing with each character. They each struggle to come to terms with what’s happen, to find meaning in their lives that have been forever changed.
I had seen trailers for Reservation Road last summer. I’m glad a friend urged me to see it – it is a very moving film. Highly recommended.