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The Ice Storm

236 customer reviews

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(Mar 13, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

When a self-centered husband's relationship with his wife and mistress grow cold, it takes a wife-swapping "key party" and a freak ice storm to clear the air and change their lives forever. Director Ang Lee offers a compelling look at a controversial era.

Special Features

  • Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Tobey Maguire
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Writers: James Schamus, Rick Moody
  • Producers: Ang Lee, Alysse Bezahler, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Ted Hope
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056BSG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ice Storm" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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72 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 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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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Cubist on March 14, 2008
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.
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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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