The Ice Storm (1997)
November 26, 2015 3:59 PM - Subscribe

"The Ice Storm" takes place as an early winter storm descends on Connecticut, casting over Thanksgiving a shroud of impending doom. In a wooded suburb, affluent adults stir restlessly in their split-level homes, depressed not only by their lives but by their entertainments, and even by their sins. Their teenage children have started experimenting with the same forms of escape: booze, pot and sex.
- Roger Ebert, ★★★★

Ang Lee directs Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Jamey Sheridan, and Sigourney Weaver.

Part of the Criterion Collection:
Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech drones from the TV, the Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentment, sexual tension, and cultural confusion. With clarity, subtlety, and a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award–winning director Ang Lee renders Rick Moody’s acclaimed novel of upper-middle-class American malaise as a trenchant, tragic cinematic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a tremendous cast of established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and rising stars (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes) The Ice Storm is among the finest films of the 1990s.
posted by the man of twists and turns (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The suburb it was shot in really is an affluent area - I looked it up because I was so taken with one or two of the homes, and their settings, that I looked up the filming locations. Found this just now (direct link to video):
"It was a rare opportunity. And virtually everything went right. True, the gunk we used to make the icicles (a mix of hair product and other fine elixirs) did not come off trains so easily. And yes, it was before they had invented texture mapping software so a few CGI additions of snow cost way too much. But I was very fortunate to get to produce Ang Lee’s THE ICE STORM. It’s great to see that Criterion is now putting some of the video extras up on the net."
As for the movie, all I can remember is some cynicism, cruelty, and general alienation between the principal characters. Not my bag but I know it got some really good reviews.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:48 PM on November 26, 2015

With Peter Parker AND Frodo!

My wife grew up in a very WASPy New England milieu, and finds this move hitting *much* too close to home.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:59 PM on November 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

My SO, for a time, lived in the arch WASP Conneticut suburbs, not far from the town which Stepford was based on.

He said it was eerily accurate and a little spooky to watch.
posted by The Whelk at 10:57 PM on November 26, 2015

This movie explained a 1972 Mad cartoon that I had seen as a kid: Popeye and Olive Oyl, Dagwood and Blondie, Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae arrive at a house( it doesn't show whose).They whoop it up at a party. The last panel shows Dagwood with Daisy Mae, Popeye with Blondie and Li'l Abner with Olive Oyl leaving the house. All of the male characters are brandishing a key.
posted by brujita at 12:19 AM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I loved the book, and I thought the movie was fine. What I really missed in the movie was the analysis of Fantastic Four comics through the eyes of a young boy. I don't think I've ever read anything that captures quite so well the role of narrative in a kid's inner life. The movie, on the other hand, turned The Fantastic Four into little parables, and it didn't really respect the way kids read comics. This post does a good job explaining why.
posted by painquale at 1:24 AM on November 27, 2015

I remember feeling love/hate for this movie, because my family's experience of the 70s was so different and less cushioned by affluence. Even though I thought the story was an interesting one, I kept having to shove my class resentment out of the way. But then, so many acclaimed novels, whether or not they go on to be movies, examine the lives of wealthy East Coast families that after a while you start to wonder if there are any other kind.
posted by emjaybee at 12:07 PM on November 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

I grew up in New Canaan, so of course I had to see this movie when it came out. It was exciting to see the town so much on display, even if the portrayal wasn't entirely positive. It seems pretty unusual for a movie to be set so precisely in a town that viewers aren't expected to know (vs NYC, LA, etc) and to have that town represent itself.
posted by Horselover Fat at 3:21 PM on November 27, 2015

I adore this movie. It's so subtle and beautiful to watch unfold.
posted by sallybrown at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

What an interesting movie! Watching really made me feel cold, it's very effective in setting a mood. I'm not sure about the plot, very much a slice of life, but stuff happens. Maybe works better in the book but it feels a bit meandering. Kevin Klein kills it though, and what a cast!
posted by Carillon at 2:21 PM on January 14

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