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The Ice Storm (The Criterion Collection) (1997)

Christina Ricci , Tobey Maguire , Ang Lee  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Restored, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011U3OAQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,107 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ice Storm (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While Nixon s impeachment hearings blast from the TV, the wayward Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentments, sexual experimentation, and cultural confusion. With crystalline clarity, characteristic subtlety, and even a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award winning director Ang Lee adapts Rick Moody s acclaimed novel of American malaise into a trenchant, tragic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a cast of tremendously talented adults (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and kids (up-and-coming stars Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood), THE ICE STORM is one of the finest films of the nineties.

Special Features
* - New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Ang Lee and director of photography Frederick Elmes
* - Audio commentary featuring Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus
* - New documentary featuring interviews with actors Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Christina Ricci, and Elijah Wood
* - New video interview with novelist Rick Moody
* - Deleted scenes
* - Footage from an event honoring Lee and Schamus at New York's Museum of the Moving Image
* - Production designs and sketches, with commentary by the designers
* - Theatrical trailer
* - PLUS: A new essay by film critic Bill Krohn

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icy lives December 28, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I, personally, was not alive in 1973 -- it was a decade too early for me and my closest friends

But Ang Lee gave us some glimpses into the landscape of 1970s suburbia, in the wake of the sexual revolution. "The Ice Storm" is a chilly, bitterly lonely little drama, with moments of biting humour and poignant alienation between these people. They pass each other, but never touch.

The Carvers and Hood live in the same affluent suburban neighborhood, and on the surface all seems well. But self-absorbed Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) is having an affair with the icy Janie Carver (Sigourney Weaver), and his daughter Wendy (Christina Ricci) is experimenting with Janey's son Mikey (Elijah Wood. And Elena Hood (Joan Allen) is experiencing an identity crisis as a woman.

Things start crumbling over Thanksgiving weekend, when Ben finds Wendy and Mikey in a compromising position (which involves a Nixon mask), and Elena figures out the truth about her husband's affair. As an ice storm sweeps over New Canaan, the parents set out to a "key party," all their relationships will reach boiling point -- and a tragedy will strike.

The neighborhood of "The Ice Storm" is not one you'd want to live in -- people talk but rarely speak, have sex but no intimacy, and can't communicate with their own children and spouses. So it's a credit to Ang Lee's directorial skill that he can actually draw you into this story.

And Lee does a really brilliant job of not only illustrating these intertwined, painfully distant relationships, but tying them into the 1970s world.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A family...like your own anti-matter." December 14, 2004
Format:DVD
It's hard to believe that this film was made in 1997. Every aspect of it, from the haircuts, dress styles, architecture, and furnishings to the attitudes and angst exhibited by the characters reeks of the 1970s. Directed by Ang Lee, the film captures the free-wheeling, introspective, and self-indulgent era in which parents absolve themselves of responsibility for guiding their children while they themselves explore free love and key parties. No one is happy. Everyone is trying to "connect."

Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) and Elena (Joan Allen), parents of Paul (Tobey Maguire) and Wendy (Christina Ricci) have lost touch with their "inner selves." Ben is trying to find it with Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver). Elena, disillusioned, looks toward Rev. Philip Edwards (Michael Cumpsty) for revelation. Their children explore sexuality at young ages, with Wendy being very bold in asking for what she wants from younger kids who have not even entered puberty. Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver), the mother of Mikey and Sandy, is the unfettered wife of Jim (Jamie Sheridan), who never seems to be part of her life. All experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol, kids and adults alike, as all also try to find meaning in life. When a dangerous ice storm hits on the night of a major party for the adults (while the kids have their own plans), lives are permanently changed.

Set in New Canaan, CT, the film alternates moments of dark humor with moments of ineffable sadness, offering a close-up view of suburbanites and their children as they try to negotiate their way through the minefields of self-indulgence in their search for identity and "meaning." Everyone takes chances--shoplifting, taking drugs, sexual experimenting, daring of convention--and no one expects to be caught.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Criterion Collection deluxe treatment! March 14, 2008
By Cubist
Format:DVD
Director Ang Lee has had a fascinatingly diverse career. He's tried his hand at the literary adaptation with Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition), the Civil War epic with Ride with the Devil, a period martial arts tale with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a comic book adaptation with the much-maligned Hulk (Widescreen 2-Disc Special Edition). He has successfully dabbled in several genres and with The Ice Storm, he adapted Rick Moody's 1994 novel of the same name, a drama set in 1973 during the waning years of the sexual revolution.

The Ice Storm feels like an Ingmar Bergman or John Cassavetes film from the 1970s with a dash of Atom Egoyan (the look of either Exotica or The Sweet Hereafter). It also has a textured, painterly quality thanks to the exquisite cinematography of Frederick Elmes who also shot some of David Lynch's best films (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Wild at Heart). He really captures the tacky, kitschy look of the `70s and is helped considerably by the attention to period detail (awful sweater vests over turtleneck sweaters) and the top notch production design (capturing the look of the houses from that era).

The Ice Storm takes a fascinating look at a specific time and place through the eyes of an outsider - the Taiwanese-born Lee who offers a fresh perspective on American culture. His film can be seen as a melancholic lament for the end of an era and the loss of innocence that began with the Kennedy assassination.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
No that good
Published 3 days ago by Erick Contreras
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie - a little weird, but acting was good.
Published 21 days ago by D. Carter
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad, Bad, Bad
Boring movie. It sucks harder than Ishtar!
Published 23 days ago by GDR
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of twisted family lies and deceit, set ...
A story of twisted family lies and deceit, set against a girl trying to grow up and find out her place within her family's life filled with lies!
Published 1 month ago by K. Printz
2.0 out of 5 stars It's hard to work up any sympathy for these pathetic navel-gazing...
It's hard to work up any sympathy for these pathetic navel-gazing characters, save for "Frodo" who gets electrocuted during the storm. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary T. Starr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie based on facts!!
I lived in Darien, CT (next to New Caanan, CT where movie is located) during this period of my life ( I was 16)! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amie
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Ang Lee's The Ice Storm is based on Rick Moody's novel of the same title. Moody's novel is a clever, witty book operating on many levels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Satisfied in Seattle
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow, mindless, immoral people
This got five stars???? I live on another planet. This movie was full of unsmiling, immoral people who let their children run wild, in addition to themselves.disgusting.
Published 2 months ago by D. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
It is so real and doesn't pull punches. Really a good watch, and the cast are all excellent actors. Watch It.
Published 2 months ago by Tamylina Soto
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Masterpiece
The Ice Storm is easily among the most dead-on and tragic family dramas ever made. Very much in the same vein as American Beauty, The Squid and the Whale, Happiness, and Ordinary... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Collin O'Donnell
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I agree. I know it's a two-disk Criterion edition, but c'mon, if you want to sell some copies, make the price reasonable.
Apr 8, 2008 by Stosh |  See all 2 posts
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