Movie Reviews - Featured Films » Independent Film Guide - I

The Ice Storm Movie Review

weaver awards ang life

How do you make an absolutely riveting movie about the colossal boredom of life in a small town, circa 1973? Ask Ang Lee, director of The Ice Storm! All of the ingredients of suburban malaise are here, from anesthetizing affairs to children's doctor games, from distracted and/or deliberate shoplifting to Thanksgiving gatherings that no one really wants to attend. It's cold in Connecticut and that applies to relationships as well as the weather. Ben and Elena Hood (Kevin Kline and Joan Allen) are going through the motions of marriage, a fact of life not missed by their kids, Paul and Wendy (Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci). Ben is having an affair with Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver). Because the affair means nothing to her, it means something to him and both his sense of discretion and his wife suffer as a result. Icy Janey is also married (to Jamey Sheridan as husband Jim) with children (Adam Hann-Byrd and Elijah Wood as Sandy and Mikey). The affair leads to tragedy in a slow and indirect fashion. The teenaged kids learn a little about sexual electricity from each other but nothing from the grown-ups about the consequences of actual electricity, a lesson ideally learned by the age of three. Was life in 1973 really this grim? For the Hoods and the Carvers it is, ditto the participants in the world's unsexiest mate swapping party ever. Sensitive direction by Ang Lee and fine acting by all, especially the kids, keep you tuned into an emotional climate you'd only want to visit with a 113-minute return ticket. After playing Pat Nixon in the White House, Elisabeth Proctor in Salem, Elena Hood in New Canaan, and Betty Parker in Pleasantville, Joan Allen would definitely benefit from a tourist visa to Screwball Comedy Land at this stage of her career. Katie (Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek) Holmes made her first screen appearance here as Libbets Casey.

1997 (R) 113m/C Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd, David Krumholtz, Jamey Sheridan, Maia Danzinger; D: Ang Lee; W: James Schamus; C: Frederick Elmes; M: Mychael Danna. British Academy Awards ‘97: Best Supporting Actress (Weaver); Nominations: Australian Film Institute ‘98: Best Foreign Film; British Academy Awards ‘97: Best Adapted Screenplay; Golden Globe Awards ‘98: Best Supporting Actress (Weaver); Writers Guild of America ‘97: Best Adapted Screenplay. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

The Iceman Cometh Movie Review [next] [back] Think I Do I Movie Review

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or