The Ice Storm (1997)

Directed By: Ang Lee

Written By: James Schamus  (Script) and Rick Moody (novel)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Sigourney Weaver


Take caution when mounting a waterbed, especially during an ice storm.


Initially, the dialogue feels like the writer James Schamus, is stroking his ego like he would stoke a chinchilla at a Peruvian flea market. Fortunately, it takes a quick turn to reveal complex inter-relationships among two married couples and their children. Ang Lee (of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fame) paints a rather complex picture that requires the audiences’ attention as relationships unravel. In the end, the film raises interesting questions about the need to communicate.

The acting was stellar on all accounts. The biggest standout was Joan Allen who portrayed her sadness and aggravation with a realistic flair. It was also interesting to see Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Katie Holmes and Elijah Wood as young actors. They definitely showcase their talents, especially Tobey Maguire, with his surprisingly large bong hit.

The Ice Storm is worth watching but it’s hard not comparing it to its suburban counterpart American Beauty, which came out two years later and managed to go deeper with its complexity of characters.

Problem: Hard to be sympathetic towards the characters

Mood for watching: Cold and wet

What to eat and drink: Hors d’oeuvres and vino

If I made it: An alien would pop out of Sigourney’s stomach

Why watch: Interesting architecture


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