96 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: May 16, 2005 (Cannes)
Release date: September 23, 2005
Canadian distributor: Alliance Atlantis
Based on the graphic book by John Wagner, screenwriter Josh Olson adapted the story for the screen, and quite a story it is. It revolves around Tom McKenna who is your average, everyday, ordinary, quiet family man living and working in a small U.S. town. When his seemingly tranquil life is invaded in a powerful performance from Stephen McHattie, everything he was lived and worked for is changed. What should have been a small act of heroism becomes fodder for the national press, mid-1950s style, and his new noteriety brings some unwelcome and unsavory visitors from his past. The film premiered at Cannes in May 2005 and was nominated for the Palme D’Or. While it did not pick up any awards, reviews were overwhelmingly positive for the film, its leading players and director, David Cronenberg. Made for an estimated $32-million, it made more than $60-million at the box office.
Also see: An article about A History of Violence from our Take One archives.