The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The Ice Storm
It was 1973, and the climate was changing.
In the weekend after thanksgiving 1973 the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood reels from drink to drink, trying not to think about his trouble at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self help books and losing patience with her husband's lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holidays, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. Young, budding nymphomaniac, Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century.
Ang Lee is simply one of the greatest directors alive. Last year's Life Of Pi solidified that for me. I would compare him to Stanley Kubrick in the way he is able to adapt to many different genres, and master them. Examining any three of his films in a row, in this case 1997's The Ice Storm, an atmospheric, fatalist drama of 1970's New England suburbanite family dysfunction, sandwiched between 1995's Jane Austen period comedy Sense And Sensibility, and 1999's civil war drama Ride With The Devil, shows an artist unwilling to settle into a comfort zone.
When I first saw The Ice Storm, during its theatrical release in 1997, I knew it would become one of the best films…
Your family is the void you emerge from, and the place you return to when you die. And that's the paradox - the closer you're drawn back in, the deeper into the void you go.
Ang Lee is a director that I really need to see more of.
Well, to be more specific, I think Ang Lee needs to make more films like The Ice Storm.
I think as a director, Ang Lee possesses a very rare trait in that he finds an amazing balance between impressive visual prowess and immense human emotion. His latest, Life of Pi I'll admit made me groan at first, but I found the film to be one of the very best of last year;…
Suburbia has always been a fascinating subject to watch on film. Speaking for myself, the allure to the subject has always been the dark secrets that distinguish each household apart in an otherwise indistinguishable neighborhood.
The Ice Storm centers around two middle-class, suburban families, the Hoods (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, and a very young Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci) and the Carvers (Jamey Sheridan, Sigourney Weaver, and a very young Elijah Wood and Adam Hann-Byrd, in the early 1970s as they deal with how the social and political events of the 60s begin to influence suburbia. Every character is looking for love, and it is through their experimentation with sex, drugs and alcohol that they expect to find it.
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #426
Review In A Nutshell:
Thrice now, Ang Lee has struck me in places I never knew existed; first with Life of Pi, then with Brokeback Mountain, now with The Ice Storm. I am now going to provide in this entry a thorough review, as this is another one of those films that I need time and another viewing to fully appreciate its narrative and thematic intentions; everywhere I look during The Ice Storm's running time is filled with symbolism or metaphors and it is a lot to take in a single and initial sitting. Though I am still taking The Ice Storm in, I cannot deny that this film was marvellous. It featured…
I haven't read the novel on which this film is based but will probably seek out for it as I haven't been this impressed and shaken by a (fairly) recent American drama in a long time. Ang Lee's look at suburban, middle-class life is quietly powerful and unfolds in a slow but riveting manner. The titular ice storm is beautifully shot and due to its nature increases the feeling of confinement in the film. It's a very down-to-earth, small-scale film chronicling a few days in the lives of two neighboring families, punctuated by key events that themselves don't immediately create drama but linger over the film in the same way the storm does. The result is atmospheric, cold and brooding,…
The Ice Storm moved me on an emotional level, which is something that Ang Lee films rarely do to me. The cast is phenomenal, the direction is superb, and the writing is top notch. What makes this movie so good though is the characters and the story. Everything that happens actually has an effect on the overall story going on, making this a really strong film. I was deeply touched, and I have few problems with The Ice Storm. Highly recommended.
The freezing-over of the American public consciousness following Nixon/Watergate mirrors this portrait of two sexually and morally frustrated families in Connecticut in the early 70s.
Ang Lee directs with a poet's eye and a playwright's voice (helped along by James Schamus' excellent adaptation of the Rick Moody novel), packing so much emotional and thematic heft into every frame. Weather has rarely played as significant a role in a family drama as it does here, and the film is all the better for it.
Ultimately, it's a movie about what we all take for granted - be that love or trust.
For a while near the beginning I worried this was shaping up to be an excessively noble, Crash-esque ensemble-tapestry with multiple cross-cutting storylines that all come to bear on one another and eventually deliver some big, important message. Indeed, this movie does consist of an interconnected ensemble whose constituents come to bear on themselves--and includes a number of other elements that sometimes call to mind American Beauty, which was released two years after this movie, to greater fanfare and more awards--but the key difference is that The Ice Storm is directed by Ang Lee, who has a demonstrated sensibility about tragic characters and the things they do to themselves that is far more nuanced and graceful than the type of…
Gonna need to rewatch, but a masterful job of establishing and maintaining tone. I'm stuck between 3 and 3.5 on this one, but I can't really identify flaws with it the way I can usually find them with other films I rate in this area. I felt like I missed out on catharsis that I needed, like there just wasn't that final little something that makes this a great movie.
A really strong character drama from director Ang Lee.
Often times when watching a movie for the first time I will give it a fair running time of about twenty to thirty minutes to capture my interest before my mind puts it into a storage folder. Defined as the graveyard of irrelevant movies where neglected and meager storytelling go to die. The Ice storm unfortunately wasn’t able to escape this fate as it failed to obtain my interest.
The plot of the film or vague structure of it takes place around Thanksgiving weekend in the 1970’s between two suburban families entangled in the webs of a love affair. This isn’t revealed in the drama genre film until after thirty to forty minutes of boring political talk and meaningless dialogue…
I'm not sure there is a likable character in the whole movie, it's also slow and methodical, but I was riveted the whole way. There are a number of outstanding performances in this. Hard to believe that "key" parties went out of style...
I love everything about The Ice Storm apart from the film. I love the setting; the John Updike-style upper middle classes, based around social conventions, affairs, guilt, family. The early 1970s, where everyone is trying to live up the sense of the time, while Richard Nixon's downfall is happening in the background. The kids no longer respect Thanksgiving, Vietnam is occurring. I love the performances, especially those of Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Allen. It is a great adult ensemble, that utilises both the comic and dramatic aspects of their performances. The film may be a bleak representation of reality, but it is a compellingly comic tragedy.
Christina Ricci wearing the Richard Nixon mask is laugh-out-loud funny, while barely…
SiGODney Weaver just fuck me up
Ang Lee beautifully photographs a wonderful drama focusing on the integrity of love and slippery (or should I say icy) slope of lust, and morbidly cleanses the destructive events with an ice storm that is both ominous and magical. The storm is effectively implemented with subtle foreshadowing, a non-approach towards divine intervention, and an unforgiving, deadly mood by the cinematography.
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