ICE STORM, THE: DVD
Life with the Hood family is skidding out of control. It's November 1973 in Connecticut. Watergate has caught up with Richard Nixon, the Beatles are recording solo albums, wife-swapping has come to the suburbs. Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) is sleeping with his mistress, next-door neighbour Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver), who is oddly disinterested. His wife Elena (Joan Allen) is losing patience with her husband's clumsy lies and she is at the end of her tether. Daughter Wendy Hood (Christina Ricci) finds sex games interesting to play with the boys next door, Mikey Carver (Elijah Wood) and little brother Sandy (Adam Hann--Byrd). Son Paul (Tobey Maguire) is pursuing a rich girl from his prep school. The biggest ice storm in 30 years occurs the night after Thanksgiving - that's when Wendy and Paul are pursuing their individual exploits, and Ben and Elena are at a 'key-party', where partners swap...
Review by Louise Keller:
Following the success of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, it is not surprising that his earlier films, now released on DVD, will find a whole new audience. His fascination for the family and the relationships within, is the crux of The Ice Storm, a beautifully crafted, keenly observed film whose characters are so real, they jump off the screen. Made in 1997, the film is a tapestry of human relationships centered on family, and Lee gets a perfect balance between script, performances and ambiance.
'This is a disaster movie,' he says, in which the disaster hits home. observe characters being uncomfortable in ordinary and extraordinary situations, and instances where they are not in control. There are some unforgettable moments - like the hilarious scene when Christina Ricci (wearing a Richard Nixon mask) seduces the boy next door, just as Kevin Kline walks in; and the key-party scene is the epitome of emotional discomfort...
Perhaps our own flaws endear us to the weaknesses in each character. Kline heads a top cast as the gauche husband/father who is having an affair with his nonchalant but alluring next door neighbour, icily played by Sigourney Weaver. Joan Allen is compelling as the frustrated, cheated wife, implying a multitude of emotions, simmering beneath the surface. The young cast is outstanding, with Christina Ricci's sexually curious Wendy bringing all the confusion experienced by teenagers to the fore.
The climax is a shattering one and Lee uses all his expertise to build up the tension to an almost unbearable pitch. It's a haunting, emotional film that shouldn't be missed.
Published April 13, 2006
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ICE STORM, THE: DVD (M)
CAST: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Jamey Sheridan, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Adam Hann-Byrd, Tobey Maguire
DIRECTOR: Ang Lee
SCRIPT: James Schamus (based on the novel by Rick Moody)
RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: March 2006