The Ice Storm (1997)
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- 112 min.
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Sigourney Weaver looked amazing in this one.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for these kinds of family dramas but I thought this was great.
I know that not everyone agrees with me that Ang Lee made the better Hulk movie, but he did make the best Fantastic Four movie by a mile. It's called The Ice Storm. Ok, sure, it only uses the FF as a metaphor for the kind of family presented in the film, but still. FF fans take it where they can get it. If the metaphor works, it's in the idea that being adventuresome, when one is a parent, comes at a cost that one's kids may well have to pay. Set during Watergate, there's a sense that corruption in the White House is reflected in the family unit, and something unnatural in parents experimenting with sex and substance abuse, while their kids doing the same seems rather more natural. The title overstates the ice storm, but I suppose it acts both to "wash away" and "freeze the moment" (to take stock?) as the characters reach a crisis point in their lives. I've just piled one metaphor-driven interpretation on top of the other, and that's a problem from a critical point of view. Ang Lee may be layering too much, and it tends to flatten out his intent and turn the film into just an effective drama about families out of control. I say "just", but that's not a bad thing to be, especially when you have the cast to pull it off.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #133 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #429 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #452 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #673 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #913 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die