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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2007!
RESERVATION ROAD, 2007
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Elle Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Mark Ruffalo, Mira Sorvino, Gary Kohn, Sean Curley, John Slattery
On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello - beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from them forever.
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Darkness holds to the concrete before me, but the brights chase its hand away. And I focus ahead, trying not to see what hides within shadow. I just want to get home, but they are there, watching me. Something whips by, nearly sending me over the edge, and it is just another fool driving recklessly. And they wait for him, and I see them now standing against road, the ghosts never to be at peace. And they see me, and they know what I have done. But could I ever escape them?
It was a moment that I could never take back. I saw his face, and then he was gone. And they screamed for me to stop, but I kept going. I couldn’t go back. If I turned around now, my life would be over, but what about his? He was just a child, and I could see his still form lying across ground. But I kept going, hoping that they would never find me, but how could I go on, knowing what I had just done?
He was my life. His laughter rang through my heart, and I smiled a lifetime. And the future lit up before us, and memories were stones cast across a glistening lake. And we knew no pain, no sorrow but happiness, and he took my hand in his. And then he was gone, and I was left alone. And his room was now dark, and no more laughter echoed across these halls. And all I have are pictures, moments forever frozen in time to remember the one that I loved and lost.
Were they on to me? Did they know what I have done? The evidence is locked away, and nobody saw me. I don’t think anyone saw me, so was I safe? Free to roam under the illusion of innocence, or would my guilt seep through? And would he know what I have done, what I have taken from him, and would he come for me? Should I turn myself in, but why should I turn myself in when the trail has run cold? Why should I risk my life when maybe I am safe, or are these just lies so that maybe I could finally sleep at night? But every time I close my eyes, he waits for me there in the darkness, and I see his face.
How could he do this? How could he keep going? Was he nothing more than an animal in a steel cage or a human being scared for his life, but what about me? How do I go forward, drive through this? How do I pick up the pieces of a life shattered by one single moment, and how could I not want revenge? Must justice fall from my hand, or would the law find him guilty? And if judged, what if they just give him a slap on the hand? Would he take another life, tear another family apart? What then? How could these roads ever be safe when they are still free?
The hour was late. I could feel time slipping away, but I couldn’t stop. I had to get him home, but she wouldn’t stop calling. And I only took my eyes off the road for a moment, just one moment, but it was too late. And something struck my car, and their screams followed. And I hesitated, but if I stepped out of this car, then my life was over. So I took my foot off the brake and slammed on the gas, but I knew better. I was a lawyer, and I tried people for this. But adrenaline pumped through my veins, and I couldn’t stop. But I was torn between right and wrong, and fear won. And I hoped to never be discovered, but what example am I setting for my son? Would he remember me as nothing more than a coward? Would that be the legacy of Dwight Arno, the man that never stopped running away?
The roads are quiet now. Darkness drifts across the light, and I stare straight ahead. But I know that they are there. Justice and revenge are the passengers in the backseat, but I try not to listen. But I can’t shut them out, and those haunted eyes meet mine through the rearview mirror. I can go home, but what about them? How long must they wait to be set free? When will their families cry no more, begging for peace? How could they drive on, knowing what they did, and how can they live their lives when they ripped lives away? These roads are quiet now, but it only takes a moment to take everything away. And the ghosts remain, holding to concrete, and begging to be heard, but are we listening? Or do we stare straight ahead, trying to see past truth and not know the stories we fear to know, but how could we remain blind when we are human? And our heart beats fierce across the power of drama in the movie, Reservation Road.