The Accidental Hero is a poignant—if slightly depressing—French language film that benefits from a short running time.
Tom, a young teen, can't seem to find any happiness in his life. He is constantly at the throat of his mother, a flight attendant who is rarely around. Tom believes she drove away the father he never met, and resents her for it. When the two are in a horrible car accident, Tom is okay, but his mother wakes up with no recollection of who she is—or who her son is. Tom is placed in a group home, under the guardianship of a tough disciplinarian Tom sees sort of as a father figure. It is up to Tom alone to get his life—and his mother's—back on track.
This is one of those films that gives you a glimpse into a world of misfortune, and rather than taking the easy route and cutting the characters some slack, keeps piling on the heartache. Even so, with all the sadness Tom experiences, you find yourself rooting for him to keep fighting to make a better world for himself. Although I don't speak the language, it seems to be well-acted, and while it may be too heavy-handed for some, it's a touching film. The characters are well-drawn and you really get a sense of what each of them is thinking and feeling. It's a modestly powerful film. And being only an hour and a half, it doesn't drag on or leave you emotionally spent. It's just the right length to tell a story and touch your heart strings.