This effective drama from Todd Field is a thoughtful, emotionally charged exploration of parental grief and marital compromise. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson are remarkable in their respective roles as middle aged parents faced with the sudden, violent death of their only son, with each bringing a palpable gravitas in different ways. Spacek is an inscrutable, passive-aggressive tea kettle about to boil, while Wilkinson’s reasoned self-control and private grieving set the two on an inevitable collision course. In addition, the Maine setting is tremendously effective, functioning almost like a character unto itself and projecting an aura of everyday normalcy and tranquility at deliberate odds with the devastating narrative. Not to be missed.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)