I got a little kick out of the humorous coincidence that I happened upon Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm during Thanksgiving season, as it takes place during a Thanksgiving season between two families in New England. It’s a mellow character drama, one that deals with the intertwining relationships between the family members and each one’s personal dilemmas and problems, in a very soothing and sensitive mood and finesse that treats the subject matter with expressive grace. I knew nothing going into this, only that it was directed by Ang Lee, so I knew it was going to be very moody, in a subtle way, and would use effective music and a dead-on eye for characterization to provide the meat and potatoes of the content, and it turned out I was right.
What the film does so well is the intimate moments where sub-layers of plot and inflections of meaning are implicitly understood by the characters, and at the same time, us, the audience. The story and the script have such a grounding and a completeness to them, it’s no wonder the film was as critically lauded as it was. The film is also a veritable who’s who of actors and actresses, both young and old. There’s really too many to name here, but everyone is at the same time recognizable and fully within their respective characters, which is a hard feat to accomplish, so kudos to the ensemble.
I guess I’m let in the unenviable position of having too little to say about this. It was good, and very well done, but nothing about it screamed “must see” status, or even said it with a raised voice. I’d recommend that you see this, if only just because it is very well made, and you’ll feel that you’ve seen a very satisfying film once it’s over, but there’s no pure entertainment value, or anything else that really means that you need to see this before you die. I actually wish I could continue on with discussing this film, but there’s really nothing else left to be said about it. Well done, and satisfying, but nothing to twist your legs in a knot over.
Arbitrary Rating: 7/10