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Criterion Collection: The Ice Storm

Criterion Collection: The Ice Storm

5.0 4
Director: Ang Lee

Cast: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Henry Czerny


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Set on Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, The Ice Storm looks into the lives of a wealthy Connecticut family who are calm and civil on the outside, but whose lives are quietly falling into chaos. Sixteen-year-old Paul Hood (Tobey Maguire) is home for the holidays from prep school; he'd just as soon have stayed at school, given the usual level of tension around the


Set on Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, The Ice Storm looks into the lives of a wealthy Connecticut family who are calm and civil on the outside, but whose lives are quietly falling into chaos. Sixteen-year-old Paul Hood (Tobey Maguire) is home for the holidays from prep school; he'd just as soon have stayed at school, given the usual level of tension around the house and his desire to win the affections of Casey (Katie Holmes), a girl living in Manhattan. His 14-year-old sister, Wendy (Christina Ricci), is already a hardened cynic obsessed with the ongoing Watergate investigation, and she has begun acting out sexually with a neighbor boy, Mikey (Elijah Wood). Apparently, this runs in the family: Wendy's father, Ben (Kevin Kline), is having an affair with Mikey's mother, Janey (Sigourney Weaver), though Ben sees a future in the relationship and Janey does not. Elena (Joan Allen), Ben's wife, knows something is wrong with her marriage and her life, but she has no idea what she should do about it. As the teenagers surreptitiously experiment with drugs and alcohol, and the adults drift into mate-swapping, a dangerous blanket of freezing rain begins to cover New Canaan. The Ice Storm was adapted from the acclaimed novel by Rick Moody.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Sexual licentiousness and emotional frigidity exact a harrowing toll on the characters in The Ice Storm, an intelligent, sobering indictment of upper-middle-class suburban mores. Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) adapts Rick Moody's celebrated novel with laudable fidelity, deftly replicating both the early '70s period and the fashionable Connecticut setting. He immediately attunes viewers to the emotional freeze that has driven Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) away from his wife Elena (Joan Allen) and into the arms of a sexy neighbor Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver). Ben catches his 14-year-old daughter, Wendy (Christina Ricci), fooling around with Janey's son, Mikey (Elijah Wood), but his protests carry little weight -- for obvious reasons. Lee handles this potentially tawdry, sensational material in a sober, restrained manner, and he coaxes terrific performances from the entire cast. Kline, whose well-received comedic roles have sometimes obscured his talents as a serious dramatic actor, is simultaneously sympathetic and reprehensible as Ben, and Sigourney Weaver delineates the adulterous neighbor with bold, sweeping strokes. Their characters are easily recognizable, which is what makes The Ice Storm such a chilling commentary on middle-class values. The DVD includes a production featurette.
All Movie Guide
Many films have claimed that, beneath the sparkling Formica and easy-clean linoleum, there's something's rotten at the heart of suburbia. Few, however, have addressed the topic with such memorable characterizations, disquieting imagery, and thematic coherence as director Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. Though set in the 1970s, the film doesn't use the era as an ironic punch line. Lee and writer James Schamus (adapting Rick Moody's acclaimed novel) portray the decade as a time of ambivalence and displacement, when America was left rudderless in the wake of the 1960s. The stellar cast -- including Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and budding talents Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci -- adroitly convey the vacant desires and casual misgivings of different generations of an affluent New England community. Though punctuated by some moments of dark humor, The Ice Storm is as bleak as its title suggests, and may not be for all tastes.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary featuring Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus; Documentary featuring interviews with actors Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Sigourney ; Weaver, and Elijah Wood; Interview with novelist Rick Moody; Deleted scenes; Footage from a 2007 event honoring Lee and Schamus at New York's Museum Of ; The Moving Image; Illustrated audio interviews with Elmes, production desogner Mark Friedberg, and costume designer Carol Oditz; Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Kline Ben Hood
Joan Allen Elena Hood
Henry Czerny George Clair
Michael Cumpsty Philip Edwards
Glenn Fitzgerald Neil Conrad
Adam Hann-Byrd Sandy Carver
Katie Holmes Libbets Casey
Allison Janney Dot Halford
David Krumholtz Francis Davenport
Tobey Maguire Paul Hood
Christina Ricci Wendy Hood
Jamey Sheridan Jim Carver
Sigourney Weaver Janey Carver
Elijah Wood Mikey Carver

Technical Credits
Ang Lee Director,Producer
Alysse Bezahler Associate Producer
Anthony Bregman Associate Producer
Stephanie Carroll Set Decoration/Design
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer
Mark Friedberg Production Designer
Ted Hope Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Drew Kunin Sound/Sound Designer
James W. Murray Asst. Director
Carol Oditz Costumes/Costume Designer
James Schamus Producer,Screenwriter
Bob Shaw Art Director
Elizabeth Shelton Costumes/Costume Designer
Tim Squyres Editor
Alex Steyermark Musical Direction/Supervision
Stephen Wertimer Asst. Director
Rick Moody Source Author


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Criterion Collection: The Ice Storm 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Operafan48 More than 1 year ago
The Ice Storm is one of the great American films of the 1990's. The fact that The Academy of "Motion Picture Arts And Sciences" neglected to nominate this film in any category, let alone Best Picture of 1997 (the winner for that year: TITANIC) is laughable and truly pathetic. For me , this will always remain the Best American Film of 1997, just as Brokeback Mountain will remain the Best Picture of its year. Ang Lee is an extraordinary director when he's running on all motors, which is the case with these two classic films. There is no need for me to wax poetic here about either film ; they speak for themselves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ang Lee's 'Ice Storm' is the best film of that year and will be looked upon as a classic in days to come. Ang Lee is a wonderful director. Kline, Allen, Weaver, and Maguire give 100 percent in this film. The score is wonderful, the cinematography beautiful, and the sound direction is tremendous. The story is powerful and represents the faults in our lives and the things in which redeem us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A remarkable movie set unmistakedly in the 1970's without looking like it tried. This movie could've been MADE in the 1970's. The performances are all incredible. The movie focuses on the characters own faults and redeeming qualities without any overriding judgements. The characters make their own self judgements and judgements of others. If you liked 'American Beauty', you'll love this film. It's much more honest and believable, without the preaching and smarminess.