The Ice Storm
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this movie. A great 70's period snap shot. Right down to the ice cube trays and waterbed!Published 8 days ago by PBV
This film captures the 1970s perfectly. It is rich in both comedy and tragedy, like real life.Published 10 days ago by Karen Collins-Fleming
thumbs up for great writing & excellent acting, not to mention set design to die forPublished 11 days ago by Choulli
plays beautifully hubby watched it all night long. Very good quality picture.Published 19 days ago by Kim Wachowiak
Very 70's and very depressing. I am not sure I even finished it. I like Kevin Kline, but he seemed kind of wooden and removed in it -- that was partly his character, but his acting... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Athena
I wanted to love this movie but it was self indulgent and boring. Usually LOVE kevin kline but performance was meh...ditto sigourney weaver. The whole movie was slow and boring. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mom
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