The Travises are an average American family, with all the unhappiness and tension implied therein, and after their 'prodigal' son kills himself, the family crumbles beneath the surface. The film is filled with angst, and piles misery upon misery, but the impeccable direction, acting and script make it a joy to watch. Dan Harris takes us perfectly into the various characters' neuroses, fears and dreams, shifting effortlessly between viewpoints, and his script is filled with a Bible-black humour that you can't help but raise a giggle to. Sigourney Weaver steals the film though, playing the loving mother pushed to the edge of domestic experience; never has she been quite so commanding on screen as she is here. Jeff Daniels is also great, magnificently underplaying the father's haggard resignation.
Definitely not one for those emotionalnights, but a truly wonderful film, although its almost voyeuristic exploration of grief might be too much to take for some. [Ali Maloney]