Set in a 1980s New England suburb, director Andrew Lancaster's stunning debut is a bittersweet drama revolving around a dysfunctional family coping with the consequences of a tragedy. Since he was a young child, Billy Conway has inexplicably been a witness to terrible accidents. When one such accident claims the life of one Conway child and leaves another severely brain-damaged, the weight of holding the family together falls on Billy's shoulders. Dad has moved out, leaving Billy with his difficult brother and bitter mother. Billy, always the good child, begins to stray when he becomes friends with the neighborhood troublemaker, but this surprising bad behavior may lead his family to move on from the past.
Lancaster infuses a magical atmosphere into Accidents Happen with a vivid visual style and striking production design that coat the story with an ethereal quality. Geena Davis is brilliant as Billy's mother, delivering a performance full of nuance while at the same time vitalizing the biting humor laced in screenwriter Brian Carbee's script. And bright newcomer Harrison Gilbertson portrays Billy perfectly as an adolescent caught in the collision of guilt, family responsibility, and self-discovery.
About the Director(s)Collapse
Andrew Lancaster graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 1994. He has directed four short films, including Palace Café and In Search of Mike, a drama that won multiple awards and screened on the Sundance Channel, Channel 4, and a dozen film festivals. His 1994 short Universal Appliance Co. screened at more than 20 film festivals, including Cannes and New York. Between 1994 and 2003, Andrew directed more than 20 music videos and was awarded two ARIA awards. In 1994 he cofounded Supersonic, a music collective responsible for the soundtracks on 11 film and television projects. Accidents Happen is Andrew's feature film debut.