“Little Accidents”
Dir. by Sara Colangelo

Guilt hangs over the the West Virginia town at the center of Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents like a thick blanket of coal smoke. The guilt of the lone survivor of a mine collapse, the guilt of a wife willfully turning a blind eye to her husband’s negligent work practices, and the guilt of a young boy who accidentally ends the life of a classmate when a childish tussle turns tragic. These three lives are all connected by the mine collapse that took the lives of ten miners and brought the class tensions of this West Virginia community painfully into the light.

Sara Colangelo’s directorial style recalls the early naturalistic work of David Gordon Greene, weaving a southern gothic tableau populated by complex, well-drawn characters. Colangelo has assembled a star cast for including Elizabeth Banks, Chloe Sevigny, and Arkansans Josh Lucas and Jacob Loflan who all do fine work, especially Banks, whose performance is far more dramatic than her usual comedic fare. The film falls into a few cliches, but never lags dramatically. There’s little joy to be had in Little Accidents, but it’s a feast for the eyes and an absolute showcase for its talented cast. I do not know what the future holds for director Sara Colangelo, but I anticipate it with bated breath.