Little Accidents | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Little Accidents

Individuals in a coal-mining town hit by a tragedy struggle with grief and guilt in this well-crafted drama, set in West Virginia

The three intersecting dramas in writer-director Sara Colangelo's feature debut are set against the backdrop of a fatal coal-mine accident months earlier. Soft-spoken miner Amos (Boyd Holbrook) is the sole survivor, and is caught between factions who want him to stay quiet and protect the small West Virginia town's jobs and those who suspect he knows the coal company's negligence contributed to the deaths. Young Owen (Jacob Lofland, from Mud) lost his dad in the accident, and that complicates a series of bad decisions he makes. At the triangle's third point is Diane (Elizabeth Banks), wife of the coal boss (Josh Lucas) now under investigation, and whose teenage son has gone missing; looking for connection, she strikes up relationships with both Amos and Owen.

It's a well-crafted small-scale drama that quietly airs out huge internal struggles, primarily how folks with few emotional resources process grief and guilt. Coming to terms with the overarching tragedy of the coal-mine disasters is complicated by everything from class politics to the insular nature of the town, all of which Colangelo sketches in a few deft strokes.

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