Film Review: Diverted



Diverted is an interesting delve into how people deal with actually narrowly missing a huge disaster and the effect it has on their lives afterwards. It’s generally well acted and quite thought-provoking at times, although the mellow drama of some stories detracts from its overall message.

Released: 2009

Run Time: 85 Minutes

The Premise

Diverted takes a fictional plane en route to New York on 9/11 and is just about to enter US airspace when the terrorist attack takes place. Once the plain has been diverted and eventually landed in Canada, it follows the lives of several of the passengers as they attempt to contact their loved ones, deal with racial issues and deal with the general aftermath of the attack.

The Disasters Faced

A diverted plane! (Albeit avoiding the 9/11 attacks)

The Execution

Diverted is a TV movie and they live and die on the acting and script. For the vast majority of the film, the acting is very good and quite understated. Shawn Ashmore and Liisa Repo-Martell do excellent jobs as they rally around to help their passengers through the ordeal and easily out-do David Suchet who’s accent wavers from heavy American to a real put-on over the course of the movie. The fact that his character is completely void of any nice qualities makes it harder to stand him however its something to the films testament that by the end of the movie, he has one of most tragic stories of the passengers and you do feel sorry for him.

Elsewhere a few tender romances are kindled and the comfort in each other Joanne Whalley and Colin Buchannan find is particularly well handled. Other issues such as knock-on racial hatred is also delved into with dignity and underplayed sympathy.

If there was anything really missing, it’s that actually you don’t see much of how the town coped as a whole during this trial and I think that could have added more of a punch to what is a very sedate and quiet movie that is meant to be focused on the kindness and good that people do in tragedy.

Cue awkward English romance...

Cue awkward English romance…

The Effects

There are none really, however there is a grand scale scene showing queues of people outside houses down a whole street waiting to be given towels and showers.

Why It’s Worth Watching

Diverted remained interesting for me because it was like looking at a time frame window of how different people cope. Some are humbled, some are frustrated, some outspoken and some desperate to find another to grieve with. Yes the film does succeed to a degree as a drama but I found the film far more interesting as a psychology inlet. Also kudos to the music used, it doesn’t sound like snyth strings, a real string section is used and it makes the drama more heartfelt.

Drinking Game

Let’s go for the pensive looks and awkward exchanges – they are plenty in this film!

Favourite Character

Marion (Joanne Whalley) who has a complete humbleness about the whole experience throughout and would instantly be the best person to sit with during a disaster!

Praying for safety

Praying for safety

Weirdest Moment

Kissing a fish anyone?

Random Trivia

Apparently the neighbouring town which is always referred to as Glendale throughout the movie is actually called Glenwood. Oops.

Goofy Quote

“They rescued us… can we not… rescue each other?”


As a TV movie about a real life tragedy that it does not show except for very short TV images, its holds its own as a quiet and introspective movie about dealing with what happens when all is done and dusted and you need to pick up your life and get going again. For that, it’s quite different to most disaster movies and therefore deserves a special mention.


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3 Comments on “Film Review: Diverted”

  1. Cameron September 12, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    I just watched Diverted on the 10th anniversry of 9/11. Very touching movie, that while fictionalized, is very much rooted in the real life stories of Gander.

  2. Graham R September 9, 2012 at 3:51 am #

    Even though the movie is fictional, it’s based on actual events that happened in Gander Newfoundland during 9/11. How you see the towns folk behave in the movie is how we are as Newfoundlanders, and how those events unfolded in Gander in real life. The ‘kissing the fish’ scene is in fact real. It’s called ‘Screachin’ In’, and is an annual tradition performed by Newfoundlanders too non-natives of our province. There wasn’t really much too cope with. The town just did what needed too be done in order too help those people that were stranded. It’s as simple as that.


  1. 2010 in Review « I Love Disaster Movies! - January 9, 2011

    […] The busiest day of the year was May 30th with 103 views. The most popular post that day was Film Review: Diverted. […]

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