The Ice Storm, movie review, film review, entertainment
|Michael A. Maynez|
"The Ice Storm"
"Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly", except that this parlor is the broad canvas of the affluent New Canaan, Connecticut society which depicts the seventies from their point of view. Their split-leveled homes overlooking their mortgages, and what mortgages they are. Not only are the relentless, restless adults trying to be cool, by experimenting with sex, wife swapping, liquor and cannabis, but the children also are imitating the adults.
Kevin Kline plays a philandering husband to Joan Allen's martyr wife and Sigourney Weaver's household husband wrecking calculating machine. Kline who was so funny in "In & Out", makes you realize that his depth to this husband is so profound in its shallowness. Weaver in alien territory gives new meaning to the other woman, with ruthless riveting performance. It's Joan Allen who really comes as a full force actress as the wife. She plays her hand with a definitive creativity that makes you know that she holds all the aces.
But if the adults are good the young performers are better, they walk away with the film. Elijah Wood, Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire. The scene where two of them try to make out while she is wearing a Richard Nixon mask is priceless. Especially when they are discovered by Kline in the act and he tries to chastise his daughter as she answers his question from behind the mask. It is sheer tragic-comedy.
"The Ice Storm" is an impending storm of emotions, cold and clinically chilling. A detailed investigation of the barnacles of our souls and piercing the very core of our hearts with chilled sharp icicles. This is an Ang Lee film and he has moved up to the David Lean's hall of the very talented creative directors. The fact that he was born in Taiwan, allows him see other cultures with fresh eyes. From "Pushing Hands", "The Wedding Banquet", to "Eat Drink Man Woman". It was when he held a mirror to the British in Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" that he does the same to the American culture in "The Ice Storm". It is with a tremendous sense of anticipation that we look forward to his new work, "A Woe To Live On", a Civil War western with men and guns, ambushes and raiders. A far cry from the filigreed icicles branches of "The Ice Storm".
The Ice Storm
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Produced by: Ted Hope, James Schamus, Ang Lee
Directed by: Ang Lee
With: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Janey Sheridan, Elijah Wood, Sigourney Weaver
Costume Designer: Carol Oditz
Associate Producer: Alysse Bezahler, Anthony Bregman
Music by: Michael Danna
Music Supervisor: Alex Steyermark
Film editor: Tim Squyres
Production designer: Mark-Friedberg
Director of photography: Federick Elmes
Based upon the novel by: Rick Moody
Screenplay by: James Schamus
Winner: Best Screenplay 1997 Cannes Film Festival
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Original Date Saturday 1 November 1997
Updated Sunday 2 November 1997