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The Ice Storm (Widescreen)
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The Ice Storm
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The beauty of Ang Lee's storytelling, is that we never get the same story twice. His films are always a fresh take or a first look at era's past and present. Fresh off his success with "Sense and Sensibility", Lee steps ahead into the turbulant and oft confusing times of the 1970's with "The Ice Storm".The story based on a novel by Rick Moody deals with two upper class suburban families dealing with the changing times and the changes in their lives, all amidst the arrival of a wintry ice storm.He has chosen the perfect cast and adds just the right amount of nuance and subtle comedy to this drama to make it a perfect film.
Ben and Elena Hood(Kevin Kline/Joan Allen) married in the idealistic 50's, now find themselves growing apart and their relationship getting cold as the sexual revolution of the 70's is all around them.Ben growing restless has an affair with the neighbor Janey Carver(Sigourney Weaver), Elena wants to feel the freeness she felt as a young girl. While trying to fit into this new world, they decide to participate in a "Key Party"(who you go home with at the end is anybody's guess).The teenagers(Tobey MaGuire, Elijah Wood, Christina Ricci) are also trying their hand at experiencing life so to speak.As the events of the evening unfold, a freakish storm arrives that seems to blow new life into all of them, their lives will be forever changed with the passing of the storm and the dawning of the new day.
Ang Lee captures the mood of the Nixon era expertly. Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen are perfect in their performances of the dysfunctional adults trying to cope with the times.Read more ›
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 ›
Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver are the key adults in this film, which highlights one holiday season in a Connecticut community -- with the festive dinners and holiday parties -- and reveals the superficial lifestyle of those who are bored by the surfeit of material possessions and the absence of meaning in their lives.
Even though the film was made in the late nineties, the production seemingly transplanted the viewer completely into that time. Like a flashback -- or time warp -- we can glimpse the lives of those disenchanted characters and really feel their malaise.
The youngsters are portrayed by Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci, among others, and while they, too, are delving into sexual pursuits, they also seem to be going through the motions.
In the story, we see how a dangerous ice storm, which happens on the same night as an adult key party and while the young folks are left to their own devices, renders havoc for everyone concerned.
I had seen this movie a few times when it first came out, but when I watched it again this week, I felt "chilled" to the bone.
Miles to Go, etc.
Quite everything and everyone seems to be disfunctional in this movie: Nixon's presidential reign, the family, the parents-children relationships, the coming of age. Not a single character seems to be happy, enjoy himself or having a good time; even in the few funny scenes one doesn't have the feeling that the characters involved in it are getting some pleasure. Their actions aren't simply motivated by the need for sex or their abundant libido; there's a glaring shared desperation for communication between them which seems to be paralyzed by their own dullness and unhappines. There's a cold relationship between almost all of them: the children have no real connection with their parents, the adults on their side having so much problems with each other, agenda oblige.
Every child character seems in desperate need for love, communication and comprehension: "I love you", says one of them. "That's sweet...are you drunk?" answers the other. Every adult character seems unsatisfied with his/her empty life, always in search of what is missing, although they don't seem to know what is missing in their existences. After having consumed an adulterous physical intercourse, one of the characters begins to talk about a serious subject (one of the few times in the movie). "You're boring me...I already have a husband!" answers the other.
This is the tale of some common human beings desperately wanting to love and be loved, and yet permanently in anger, trying to drown their desperation and emotional drought in shoplifting, extra-conjugal relationships or blowing model planes up in flight.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Two neighboring families experience a long and ultimately life-changing Thanksgiving weekend. The story moves from one house to the other where the adults are all bored with their... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2008 by Kona
This fim is moody and morose, just like the book which I read a few years ago. It now has a talented director (Ang Lee) and some well-known actors (Kevin Kline, Signorey Weaver). Read morePublished on May 25 2004 by Linda Linguvic
The Ice Storm is one of the all time great films in the past 25 years if not 50. Ang Lee, who is gifted beyond fathomable belief, directs another deeply moving drama. Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by B. Slooten
while one could easily consider ice storm a companion piece to the great american beauty, the genius film-maker ang lee actually made this film several prior to american beauty &... Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2004 by Brian R Yandle
A haunting, yet funny, pitch perfect examination of middle class existence in USA during close of Nixon era fleshed out with a superb ensemble cast with particular strength in the... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Ian Muldoon
This is a powerful movie. I was able to really get into this movie. Its setting is the 1970s with the ending of the Nixon white house, post woodstock rock, drugs, alcohol,... Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2003 by D. R. Rodriguez
Highlights: All of the performances, especially Kevin Kline's and Christina Ricci's; heartbreaking subject matter; effective cinematography that unmistakably presages the coming of... Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003
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