After their son is killed in a hit-and-run, a couple drifts
further apart while the killer struggles with his immense guilt.
Reservation Road (2007)
Directed by Terry George
Written by John Burnham Schwartz and Terry George
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly, Mark Ruffalo,
Elle Fanning, Mira Sorvino, Eddie Alderson, Gary Kohn,
John Slattery, Antoni Corone, Sean Curley
Based on the novel by John Burnham Schwartz
Reservation Road is a compelling drama that deals with the nature of guilt and how it can tear you apart. It's difficult to gauge how you would react in a tragic situation such as this, regardless of whether you were the victim's family or the perpetrator. This film shows both sides of the spectrum and both are horribly painful. Reservation Road excels due to its fantastically underrated performances and captivating story. It's hard to watch at times simply because of the tough subject matter, but I appreciated that they didn't hold anything back. To do so would've been disrespectful.
The standout star of the film is Mark Ruffalo as Dwight Arno, the lawyer who committed the hit-and-run. Ruffalo excels at every role he's ever done, from serious drama to superhero action. He's an incredibly talented actor and he proves it yet again by delivering a tortured, humble performance that steals the show from powerhouse Joaquin Phoenix and Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly. The characters of Reservation Road are regular, working class people with families. They're relatable and likable. They remind you of your own family. It's heartbreaking to watch them suffer a tragedy like the death of a child. The film even tricks you into feeling bad for Ruffalo, simply because he's a single father who didn't mean to destroy this family's life. As I said, the story and characters are quite engaging.
I don't understand where the negative reviews surrounding this film came from. I thought it was a fantastic drama that respectfully showed the fallout of a child's death from both sides. I think it's one of the strongest films in all these actors' filmographies. This deserves to be seen because it's a good movie.