The soundtrack to Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter boasts an expansive folk/international mix tailored made for the film's atmospheric study of loss and guilt. Featuring original material by Mychael Danna, the disc spotlights the wan vocal talents of Sarah Polley (who also appears in the film and contributes some music and lyrics here) enveloped in lean and ethereal backdrops; the accompaniment comes courtesy of the Toronto Consort and a combo that includes Danna on Harmonium and Kim Deschamps on pedal steel. Also on hand are ney player extraordinaire Hossein Omoumi and flautist Ron Korb, both of whom fit snug on the many Middle Eastern-flavored sides they guest on. In addition to the Danna material, the soundtrack also features numbers by Jane Siberry and the Tragically Hip.
Directed by Atom Egoyan, Felicia's Journey is a low-key psychological thriller about the relationship between a lovesick young woman and an older man with an ugly secret. Felicia (Elaine Cassidy) has lived all of her life in a small village in rural Ireland. She has fallen in love with a boy named Johnny (Peter McDonald), so when Johnny unexpectedly travels to England in search of a job, Felicia wants to follow him – especially since she's pregnant, a fact that she's keeping secret from her family, as well as Johnny. However, Johnny's family refuses to give her his address, so she leaves for Birmingham with only a sketchy idea of his whereabouts. Shortly after arriving, Felicia encounters Joseph Ambrose Hilditch (Bob Hoskins), the meticulous manager of a catering concern. She needs a place to stay and he recommends a good bed-and-breakfast.
A struggling actor's job as a hotel custodian is a front for his real job: being rented out as a gigolo by his supervisor. A co-worker is obsessed with him, but he ignores and avoids her. He leaves his acting resume in the hotel room of a screenwriter, who is casting for a TV movie based on the true story of her deceased brother.
A photographer and his wife take photographs of Armenian churches for use in a calendar. Their driver, a local resident, expounds on the history of the churches while the wife translates. The photographer becomes jealous of his wife's bonding with the driver.
The 'Exotica' is a nightclub on the outskirts of Toronto, where Eric, DJ and MC, watches nightly as his ex-girlfriend Christina performs. Watches jealously, especially as far as the extra attentions regular customer Francis garners are concerned. Thomas, meanwhile and erstwhile, goes through a series of, um, interesting situations involving his pet shop, a gruff taxi-sharing stranger, unexpected tickets to the opera and smuggled eggs of a rare bird.
Van's father, Stan, is fond of video, always taping scenes of daily family life. But he does not take care of Van's grandmother, Armen. Although he could afford having her at home, she is spending her days watching TV in an old people's home. Van often visits her. He meets Aline, whose mother is in the next bed. Van wants to get his grandma out of the old people's home. Aline will help. Actually, Van, whose mother left, years ago, is looking for a real family life.