Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Terry George|
|Produced by||Dean Leavitt
A. Kitman Ho
|Written by||Terry George
John Burnham Schwartz
|Based on||Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz|
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Editing by||Naomi Geraghty|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
Reservation Road is a 2007 American drama film directed by Terry George and based on the book of the same title by John Burnham Schwartz, who, along with George, adapted the novel for the screenplay. The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo, deals with the aftermath of a tragic car accident. It was released to theaters on October 19, 2007.
Dwight Arno (Ruffalo) is an attorney who is divorced from his wife Ruth (Sorvino). Ruth controls custody of their son Lucas (Alderson), while Dwight maintains visitation rights. Dwight and Lucas are at a baseball game when Ruth calls, informing Dwight that he is late with returning their son home. Dwight drives Lucas home in a hurry, thinking he might forfeit his visitation privileges. When he loses control of his vehicle, he accidentally hits a young boy, Josh Learner (Curley), who is standing by a roadside. Aware that he has struck the boy, Dwight continues driving on. To Lucas, who has a minor injury from the incident, Dwight lies, saying that they had collided with a tree log. Dwight later hears on a newscast that Josh died in the collision. Subsequently, he tries to cover up the evidence which implicates him in the hit-and-run accident. After the initial shock of losing Josh, Grace (Connelly) gradually tries to get on with life, but her husband Ethan (Phoenix), is obsessed with finding out who killed their son and frustrated with the lack of progress the police are making in their investigation. Ethan eventually decides to hire a lawyer, who oddly enough turns out to be Dwight.
Ethan later discovers that Dwight is the perpetrator. In revenge, and fearing that Dwight would be incarcerated for only a short time, he buys a gun and travels to his house to murder him. Ethan points the gun at Dwight, who eager to avoid danger to Lucas, begs Ethan that they at least go outside. With Dwight in the trunk of his car, Ethan drives him to a remote location. Because of Ethan's emotional state and resulting hesitation, Dwight manages to grab the gun from Ethan and point it at him, but later points it at himself instead. Ethan, seeing that Dwight feels sorrow, finally finds peace and leaves him there. The film ends with Lucas alone watching a taped confession about the incident from Dwight with the authorities, indicating his involvement.
- Joaquin Phoenix as Ethan Learner
- Mark Ruffalo as Dwight Arno
- Jennifer Connelly as Grace Learner
- Mira Sorvino as Ruth Wheldon
- Elle Fanning as Emma Learner
- Eddie Alderson as Lucas Arno
- Sean Curley as Josh Learner
The film was shot in Stamford, Connecticut, starting in late October, 2006, with the opening scene at Cove Island Park. Parts of the movie were also filmed at Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, Connecticut, and the Olde Blue Bird Inn & Gas Station and adjacent Baseball Field in Easton, CT. Shots of Martha's Vineyard are used in the trailer and movie.
The film received generally mixed reviews from critics. As of October 7, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 37% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 103 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 56 out of 100, based on 30 reviews.
Reservation Road grossed a total of $36,269 in its first weekend. It ended up making $121,994 in the United States, and ended with a worldwide gross of $1,783,190.
- Official website
- Reservation Road at the Internet Movie Database
- Reservation Road at Rotten Tomatoes
- Reservation Road at Box Office Mojo