Not enough votes yet! Vote for your favorite (and least favorite) reviews below.
Posted on 10/13/08 04:46 AM
Review: Snow Angels
I will admit that before seeing his most commercial film, "Pineapple Express", I knew very little about David Gordon Green. However, I had heard many things about his more intimate style, sense of characters, and dealing with human dramas that are touching, thoughtful, and sometimes devastating. Now, I really liked "Pineapple Express" and thought it was a wonderful mix of comedy/action and indie/commercial, and I also really like "Snow Angels", which, as I previously mentioned seems to be a trait of his, is very intimate and completely involving. It tells a few different stories about various relationships, most of which are falling apart or already broken, and one that is just beginning, and the impact that these relationships are having on all the people involved. Kate Beckinsale portrays Annie, a married woman who is now seperated from her husband Glenn (Sam Rockwell) whom they share a 4-year-old daughter. Annie is just barely beginning to trust Glenn again with watching their young child. You see, they seperated because Glenn had a meltdown and tried to take his own life. Glenn is now living with his parents, has become more religious, and has started a new warehouse job to try to prove to Annie that he is a changed, more stable man. Annie works long shifts at a local Chinese restaurant where she frequently hits on her fellow co-worker, the young Arthur (Michael Angarano), whom Annie used to babysit once upon a time, but who she now sees has become a handsome young man. As much as they playfully flirt, Annie is having an affair with a married man; a man who is married to her best friend. Meanwhile, Arthur is dealing with the seperation of his own parents, and watching Annie's sometimes public relationships go sour, and finds himself having issues with the fresh relationship he has just started with a girl from school named Lila (Olivia Thirlby). Soon enough, the various relationships turn tragic, and one or more lives (let alone relationships) may end. I found the film to be engrossing, moving, darkly funny at times, and always interesting. The characters and storylines can be so unpredictable that it keeps you guessing, and keeps you glued to the screen to the very end. A big part of this is because it features such wonderful and layered performances from a very talented ensemble cast. This is shaping up to be a big year to recognize Kate Beckinsale for her acting talents as well as her beauty and sex appeal. Try not to get emotional and caught up in her struggles when a tragic twist sets her character into a dramatic spiral. It's gut wrenching and powerful, and because Beckinsale shows you what Annie is going through on the inside, and lets it slowly creep out. Very affecting. But her performance wouldn't amount to anything without someone just as good to play off of. Thankfully she's matched blow-for-blow and then some by Rockwell who is charming, funny, sad, scary and absolutely brilliant. Watching his character descend into the hallowed shell of a man scarred by so many losses and unafraid to lose anything else is a cinematic treat. This is Rockwell's best performance, hands-down, and I think it's awards worthy. And save some praise for Michael Angarano, such a great young find and perfectly in touch with Arthur and all of his complexities. Watching everyone around him crumble, he fears the same will happen to him, but can't help but want to believe it doesn't have to be that way. His Arthur, and Olivia Thirlby's Lila, are the real beacons of hope in this frigid, wintery tale. Thirlby, who was pitch perfect in "Juno", is once again great here, and shows promising range. Definitely one to watch. My only real gripe is that a few moments drag, and the film really only hits one note, but David Gordon Green crafts such a well told tale of loss, reconciliation, and hope, I'm willing to forgive such small complaints for the overall picture he paints.