Accidents Happen Review by Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies

The Australian film that attracted Geena Davis to our shores is Accidents Happen, directed by Andrew Lancaster and written by Brian Carbee. It’s the story of a young boy, Billy Conroy – Harrison Gilbertson, who comes to believe he’s the epicentre of accidents happening. The next-door neighbour incinerates himself while Billy’s playing with a hose, but, more personally, he’s climbing into the front seat of a car when an accident happens, killing his sister and causing fatal trauma to his twin brother Gene. Gene and their neighbour’s son Doug were major, imaginative mischief-makers and Billy gets the chance to reconnect with Doug in his brother’s absence……

Billy’s mother Gloria – Geena Davis – is a ball-breaking talking woman. After the accident in which she’s lost not just her daughter and virtually one son, and subsequently her husband, she tries to cope, unsuccessfully…

I think this is an extraordinary film, it’s like no other I can think of in this country’s history. I know people are complaining about it being set in America when it’s so Australian, but I don’t care. The emotions, the territory covered, are so mind-blowingly different, it’s like another country anyway. The writer Brian Carbee has only written one short, In Search of Mike, which not so co-incidentally Andrew Lancaster directed, which won Flickerfest and the Rouben Mamoulian Award at the Sydney Film Festival. He’s been so brave in taking on this subject matter in the way he has, and Lancaster has served him well. To take on this, at heart, tragic subject and treat it in the way they have, helped enormously by Anthony Partos’ music, is just heroic.

The cast are universally wonderful. I must say this film made me sit up and take notice of young Harrison Gilbertson, he’s just so real here as a damaged soul. But ultimately all I care about is being affected by a film, and I found Accidents Happen really, really moving.

If you would like to see Accidents Happen it is on at the movies now and you can click here to download a voucher for a Buy One Get One Free pass from Shesaid.

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