Movie Review: The Ice Storm

4 (out of 5 stars)

This post is for the LAMB Director’s Chair #26: Ang Lee.

I just rewatched The Ice Storm for two reasons, it’s been a while and I never could get a handle on what I enjoyed so much about it. I mean I remember thinking that it was fantastic back during the original release and watching it at least a couple of other times since then. I even have The Ice Storm: The Shooting Script.

Upon this viewing I think that I finally got it. It’s not just the talented cast, the attention to period detail and the inclusion of swingers. It’s the awkwardness. Every character in the film seems incredibly, realistically awkward in these situations (aside from Sigourney Weaver, who is wonderfully strong).

The Ice Storm is set during a Thanksgiving holiday in the 1970’s. Joan Allen and Kevin Kilne have two children, 16 year old Tobey Maguire (returning home from a fancy schmancy boarding school) and the impulsive 14 year old Christina Ricci. While Allen seems to be going through a type of midlife dissatisfaction owing to different issues that include (but probably aren’t limited to), a need to find some type of spirituality and the niggling suspicion that her hubby is cheating on her.

She’s correct. Kline is banging Sigourney Weaver. Weaver and Kline are sooo hot in this. He spends much of the film walking around all clueless and shirtless. She’s outgrowing their arrangement though. It seems that their affair which was once sizzling is now losing the thrill and he’s acting more like a second husband, which she says that she doesn’t need. When she just up and leaves, without telling him, when they are about to fuck it’s fantastic.

key party in The Ice Storm

Kline and his wife and Weaver and her hubby attend somewhat staid dinner parties. However they eventually end up at a key party, which is all the rave now, awesome! An interminably young and hot Glenn Fitzgerald even makes an appearance at the party as some chick’s son that she brought to swap, whoa! The party seems to cause many of the main characters turmoil instead of fun though.

The children are also exploring their love and lust lives. Ricci has an on again off again fondling type relationship with a super spacey Elijah Wood. At the same type his younger bro is in love with her but not really ready to experiment yet when she makes a move.

Maguire is more shy and reserved. He has the hots for assumed poor little rich girl Katie Holmes. He worries that his roomie David Krumholtz might snare her instead as he apparently always does with Tobey’s crushes. The face that Krumholtz is portrayed as some kind of player in this tickles me. The three of them end up awkwardly boozing it up before he returns home one night to escape a scary situation.

Without totally giving away the ending, some things are resolved and something soul crushing happens. The ending is, afterall, set during an ice storm.

Sources for the above photos (in order)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

You may also enjoy my other LAMB posts:
3 Films by Sam Raimi
3 Films Starring Samantha Morton
Movie Review: Dario Argento’s Jenifer
Don Cheadle as Buck in Boogie Nights

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3 Comments on “Movie Review: The Ice Storm

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