Director: Ang Lee
Screenwriter: James Schamus
Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Synopsis: “Set during Thanksgiving 1973, The Ice Storm is about two dysfunctional New Canaan, Connecticut upper-class families who are trying to deal with tumultuous social changes of the early 1970s, and their escapism through alcohol, adultery, and sexual experimentation.” – Wikipedia
Our Take: Ang Lee is undoubtedly one of the world’s most versatile contemporary directors, responsible for films as disparate as Sense & Sensibility, The Hulk, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi and this year’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Lee has won the Academy Award for Best Director on two occasions, for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi.
The Ice Storm is one of Lee’s less celebrated works but is also perhaps his finest film. Made between Sense & Sensibility and Ride With The Devil, The Ice Storm explores the listlessness that infiltrates the lives of a handful of citizens living in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1973. Over the course of Thanksgiving Weekend, the fragility of intricate relationships and the loss of innocence is explored, through a group of interconnected adults and children.
There is arguably no superfluous scene, showcasing Lee’s oft-demonstrated natural ability for understanding his material, and while the themes explored in The Ice Storm are sober and sometimes tragic, the film is always engaging and often very funny.