Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ice Harvest - Ice Storm

I want to recommend two movies you may have missed: Ice Harvest and Ice Storm. Both are slightly dark but incredibly human. I ran across Ice Harvest about a month ago on cable and was reminded of Ice Storm which is now 15 years old.

Ice Storm is an early film my director Ang Lee, who has since done Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain. The cast includes: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tobey McGuire, Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood. 

"In the weekend after thanksgiving 1973 the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood reels from drink to drink, trying not to think about his trouble at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self help books and losing patience with her husband's lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holidays, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young, budding nymphomaniac, Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century. Things get bad..."

Ice Harvest comes from director Harold Ramis, who wrote and directed Caddyshack and Groundhog Day. He also wrote Ghostbusters and Animal House. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack with a great supporting role to Oliver Platt. 

"Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises."

Yes the ice storm plays a role in both films but what really ties them together for me is the naked humanness of the characters unwise decisions. Perhaps these would best be digested around the holidays as Ice Storm is set at Thanksgiving and Ice Harvest on Christmas Eve. 

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