Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

When a young boy is left overnight by mistake on a school bus during a freezing Maine winter the discovery triggers a series of domestic and emotional traumas.

Lesley (Amy Morton) is distracted one January day during her inspection at the end of the route by a bluebird fluttering about inside the vehicle. She fails to notice the sleeping boy on one of the rear seats. She only finds out the next morning when he is rushed to hospital in a hypothermic coma.

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Her world begins to crumble when she is suspended from work while her husband, played by John Slattery, has his own problems with the threat of his job disappearing with the closure of the paper mill. She withdraws into her own sorrows.

The boy’s mother (Louisa Krause) also should shoulder some of the blame because instead of picking him up from the bus she is out for the count on a cocktail of beer and pills. Despite the possibility of recrimination and public exposure for her she decides to press charges against the wishes of her mother Crystal (Margo Martindale).

The only character who seems to have the possibility for some joy in her life is Lesley’s teenage daughter Paula (Emily Meade), who plays in the school orchestra.

The story-telling is low key and muted, as befits the characters, but the unremitting sense of melancholia weighs heavily on the film and the viewer. The cinematography by Jody Lee Lipes (who lensed Martha Marcy May Marlene) strikes an equally sombre tone.

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2013
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A small incident spirals into tragedy.

Director: Lance Edmands

Writer: Lance Edmands

Starring: Amy Morton, Louisa Krause, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Emily Meade

Year: 2012

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: US

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