The Ice Storm
Selection for the Weekend of
These families put the dys in dysfunctional! If you like movies that frankly tackle issues such as sex, marital infidelity and the use of mind-altering substances, this film is for you. Let that statement be a warning to those of you offending by those things. This movie is not for you.
The time is 1973, the sexual revolution is in full swing, drug use has extended from hippies to many other segments of society and Richard Nixon is starting to watch his presidency crumble under the weight of Watergate. However, it's Thanksgiving, a time when the family, no matter how screwed up, gets together and we see the changing cultures clash as family members start discovering that they are changing just like the times.
Paul (Tobey Maguire) is heading home for the holidays, and what a home it is. His Dad, Ben (Kevin Kline), is having an affair with his hottie neighbor, Janey (Sigourney Weaver), who likes the sex, but feels Ben is getting too needy. His Mom, Eleina, has a suspicion that Ben is not faithful, and it's causing her to feel depressed. Paul's sister, Wendy (Christina Ricci), is very curious about sex and her changing body, so she starts exploring with the boy next door, Mike (Elijah Wood). Of course, Paul has his own problems as he plans on making a move on the girl of his dreams, Libbets (Katie Holmes).
That's the plot. Well, there isn't much of a plot. However, this movie is full of amazing performances, and that's what makes it worth watching.
Weaver is great as the cold-hearted sex pot using Ben for her own pleasure, until it is no longer convenient. She's a vixen and doesn't care. It's an interesting gender role switch that works well because Weaver and Kline revel in their characters.
Kline is the modern day Dad trying to be hip and understanding, yet, he always says the wrong thing. He brings out the character's neediness along with his vulnerability and love for family. Also, look for Christina Ricci as the young woman who is confused by all the crazy changes going on around her.
Directing is the other reason to rent this film. In many ways, this film set the table for last year's Oscar winning American Beauty. Ang Lee uses many of the same camera angles, background music and themes that American Beauty ends up using. The Ice Storm is much darker and more real than American Beauty, but a very similar film.
Directed by Ang Lee
Written by James Schamus
Based on the novel by Rick Moody
Sigourney Weaver .. Janey
Joan Allen .. Eleina
Kevin Kline Ben
Christina Ricci Wendy
Tobey Maguire .. Paul
Katie Holmes .. Libbets
Elijah Wood Mike
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