Director Atom Egoyan rides a tour-de-force performance from Ian Holm in this heartbreaking film about the many manifestations of grief. A Canadian school bus with 14 children aboard crashes and effectively wipes out a village generation. Holm, an accident lawyer named Mitchell Stephens, rides into town determined to transform local rage into a lucrative class action suit. But Nicole (Sarah Polley), the one (wheelchair-bound) survivor, mars Stephens’ open-and-shut case by solemnly resisting the idea that there really is such a thing as overall blame. Stephens’ troubled past makes him suddenly vulnerable. The story, which relies on flashbacks and is told from the perspectives of different families, honors Russell Banks’ bleakly excellent novel.