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The Ice Storm has some terrific performances from its truly impressive ensemble cast. Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Katie Holmes are the evident standouts. It's also well shot and it has some memorable moments for sure. But, it has nothing of true substance to say about the nadir that the 1970s decade undoubtedly was, the titular storm is such an on-the-nose metaphor, the movie's overly depressing and cold in tone, and I simply did not care for its characters whatsoever. It's a very disappointing Ang Lee feature.
The Ice Storm is a 1997 American drama film directed by Ang Lee. 1001
Ice Storm is one of those rare film gems that hits all the right notes. The story of two generations dealing with the lack of meaning in their lives by experimenting variously with taboo sex and drug use is superbly acted, directed and scripted by the all star cast. It's a film that speaks volumes but never beats the viewer about the head with what it has to say. The characters are all warmly believable and the story absorbing and compelling without becoming melodramatic. It is neither sugar coated nor needlessly confronting and the very capable cast draw you in with their honest, earthy, sympathetic performances.
For fans of intelligent evocations of realistic human drama this is an unmissable and memorable achievement.
I was not a fan of the cold, detached approach than director Ang Lee brought to Sense and Sensibility (1995) but in a film called â~The Ice Storm' you don't want a compassionate, heartwarming little film. Screenwriter James Schamus also brings his critically observant style to the screenplay as he adapts a 1994 Rick Moody novel that I understand is equally funny and disturbing. Morality is hard to approach without seeming like a puritan, especially when considering sexual mores, but here we see characters who are all flawed in one way or another but who are also misguided in their sexual activities and have all been significantly hurt by one another. I needed a film like this after watching Gandhi (1982) and Gladiator (2000) back to back and this reenergized my love of films.
Elena Hood, Joan Allen, is an emotionally detached housewife who engages in occasional shoplifting whose marriage to Ben, Kevin Kline, is suffering under the weight of his infidelity with Janey Carver, Sigourney Weaver. Wendy Hood, Christina Ricci, is experiencing her sexual awakening and experiments with both Mikey Carver, Elijah Wood, and Sandy Carver, Adam Hann-Byrd. Paul Hood, Tobey Maguire, who attends boarding school intends to begin a relationship with his classmate Libbetts Casey, Katie Holmes, but is blocked by his womanizing friend Francis, David Krumholtz. When the titular â~ice storm' occurs the adults are at a â~key party' where they intend to engage in affairs, Paul is in New York at Libbetts' house, Wendy and Sandy try having sex and Mikey explores the town with disastrous results, by the end of the night many of their lives will have changed.
One of the major points that the film makes is that the immoral actions of the parents influence their children and cause them to engage in equally amoral activities. This can be seen when we witness Wendy successfully shoplift and later see Elena doing the same thing as though she had done it many times before therefore her daughter probably only thinks she can get away with it because she has seen her mother do the same thing. Additionally, although it is never stated, we understand that the children are probably aware of Ben and Janey's affair and this causes them to believe it is normal to have multiple sexual partners. Even Paul, whose story is relatively detached from the others, faces a difficult sexual predicament when he knocks out Libbetts with pills and finds her head in his lap. Watching Christina Ricci seduce both of the Carver brothers is disturbing because there are shades of Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver in her actions.
The key party was the most entertaining part of the film with the dramatic reveal of the affair, the Reverend's awkward seduction attempt and the sexual encounter between Janey's husband and Elena taking place. Ben seems sort of pathetic but never more so than when angrily lunges at Janey and then drunkenly falls down when she doesn't select his key at the key party. Elena's angered reaction and Allen's momentary loss of icy control as an actress are electrifying moments as we realize these people do actually have feelings. The Reverend produces the most obviously funny moments of the film as he attempts to flirt with Elena and when he is angrily rebuked by her at the party he departs with his tail between his legs. The sex scene between Elena and Jim is suitably uncomfortable and rushed and we immediately feel ill as we realize they don't even really want to be having sex with one another but are simply to trying to get even with their respective partners. The acting, writing and direction made the whole section of this film deliciously tense and shows just how deeply these wayward people have fallen into debauchery.
This is a great film, my second favorite of 1997 in fact, and it's one of Ang Lee's best films featuring my favorite Joan Allen performance, yes, it's better than The Contender (2000). My experience of the film was only enhanced by having seen American Beauty (1999), Kevin Spacey has to ruin great films, because the two films considering sexual mores from a similar perspective but through the lens of very different directors, they accompany one another well.
This is a very good film that studies the family dynamics of a typical American family. Directed by the Taiwaneese Ang Lee The Ice Storm examines the unstable dynamic of the family in a constantly-changing world. It's a coming of age tale that shows how the discoveries and development of the parents parallel those of their children, and suggests that age doesn't always equate to understanding. Sexually and socially, everyone in this film is groping for answers, whether their age is fourteen or forty. In fact, it could be argued that the teenagers have a clearer and healthier approach to sexuality than their elders. More often than not, the children in The Ice Storm are open about what they want. The adults, on the other hand, feel the need to resort to deception and wife- swapping games to achieve the same ends. This was one of the best films of 1997- Go see it.
This film was almost good.
A great movie about molecules going around, playing with each other, smelling and eating each other, crashing around within a mysterious order that no one really understand. A film that is powerful but subtle, simple and complicated at the same time. Basically a film I enjoyed very much. (All the molecules are also acting marvelously together)
(5.5 out of 6)
When we see somethings come to an end and other things we see but dont see begin. When we see somethings when there is much more to them when we see them deep down and whats on the surface. When other things we dont see we see another side. When we see all sides to people in closed doors when there is alot to see in us when we are literaries, political, liberal and emotional. When we need a closer look to what we see before we judge or already know when we need to see the truth in which side we choose. When we need to see eachother on occasion to see what see whats new with eachother. When somethings we dont need to hear when we clearly see when behind closed doors we reveal our true intentions for others to see and others not to see when its plain mischief or our feelings. When other things we dont see we hear goes on when we see the times are full of different sides people explore. When what we dont see early on we see later when somethings grown in us to see another side of us come out. When others dont wish to see some sides come out when we are full of different sides that not many people would like seeing. When our daily life is filled with what we see too often or others need to see occupy their time exploring different sides is easy to come then others. When somethings we see we know is coming when its coming of age stuff kids go through or adults who are bored in need of excitement. When we need to see our own liberations come out when containing it is much more unpleasing that others dont see but ourselves. When seeing different sides to ourselves comes easy when we are good at math and exploring the angles and sides to things comes easy. When other sides we dont see too often or dont understand we prefer not to see. When being a family man we get to see both our family and business flourish that we enjoy the balance away from time to time. When other things we enjoy seeing others dont share in the same tastes when they like seeing the same old same old everyday. When we dont see we explore our past sides we kept hidden to recapture them once again. When we see changing sides to ourselves we do at anytime that we dont see when we will change back. When we see we once enjoyed such places that we continue to revisit from time to time. When we dont see how such places takes a hold of us that we naturally enjoy going to but dont know why. When we see we are exposed to different sides to ourselves and other sides we begin to see a side to ourselves grow and evolve we never saw before. When others see such exposure they choose the side where others are headed to leave behind/destroy (let die) their past side to make way for a new side. When some sides we see of eachother others are not ready or cant think when they never explored that sided to themselves before. When seeing all sides to someone is new to us, we either reveal a side to us to others to see when we dont see the seriousness of ourselves superficially. When we see others sides, we must guide them to see seriousness of respecting all sides & boundaries. When others have had enough seeing someones various sides to know where & when not to cross sides when its wrong. When we dont see why crossing some sides brings out another side to us but we see what we what we have been missing out on. When we see that others come of age to switch sides but we dont see they are not ready when they are more comfortable with people close or near their age to not switch sides. When we see that switching sides is not easy when history puts on opposing sides for a reason. When switching sides means we choose sides we believe and rely on when switching sides is risky that cant go wrong. When we see crossing the other side involves covering all sides from surfacing. When we wish not others to see our side when we dont know what we are seeing and doing. When we are not ready to give up seeing the side we love seeing we dont give up on them and carry them through life in what they dont see. When we dont see what we are seeing to only rely on what we are thinking or feeling to either trust or forget what we care seeing all together. When we see what somethings are to not see its us to do it when we see its clearly others style to do so when we see what sides others enjoy most. When we see others are just like us to see we dont see eye to eye with how happy others see this side. When see the opposing side is best suited for us when we envy those we see as being on the right side of things. When we see some sides that are harmless we explore and dont explore when we see what side it would bring worth and not worth exploring. When we dont see how some sides will turn out and other sides we see what it brings, to leave all sight and let ourselves go in which ever side it takes us. When we see which side we are on when its revealled to us. When we see that we all enjoy the same side when we enjoy the edge & danger. When some sides we wish to see out and the open when we are tired of hiding. When we see others enjoy exploring this different side to themselves when it is just a harmless game we dont take serious. When we don't see what others see when we totally feel differently about everything then others. When we see that we enjoy this different side to us when we are in control and others feel more grown up and accepted. When we begin to see a point of no return to either be the lucky ones to get out, pick right or accept what we got ourselves into seeing what we didnt see before. When we see why venturing into different sides is wrong to see it is alright when others see our emotional and physical side that we naturally explore together. When we see that we reach the other side and nothing is there, we try to return back to seeing how we used to. When we see some trips have no return or longer wait back home to the other side. When we see sides as good and bad to only know what to do and see when wevare human. When we see that superhumans also are powerless to their abilities and dont see the end, so to humans when we cant always see what the end looks like. When we enjoy the side where everyone is together to see how lucky we are to be on the right side of things. When we dont always see what side wishes to unearth us that it bottles up and grabs us to choose sides in what we dont know until its too late.
This production is two film genres mixed together, shaken & stirred - and the result is interesting, if ultimately pointless. There's (1) the teen coming-of-age experience set in (2) middle-age malaise & crisis - and Hefneresque neighborhood swingtime. But somehow it works, probably because of a fine cast, both up-&-coming young & middle-aged-old. The '70's feel is effectively captured. Katie Holmes, lovely as an adult, stops one on the tracks so cover-girl beautiful is she as a teen in a generous cameo. The titular atmospherics of the weather add to the story even tho' it's somewhat irrelevant. | - Norm de Guerre
Cold movie about adultry, wife swapping, and teenage sex. Really well done. The ice storm that is going on is an obvious correlation with the lack of communication between the two married couples. The teenage sexuality was a juxtaposition as the kids are better at communicating with each other than the adults. Very good movie.