IMDb > The Ice Storm (1997)
The Ice Storm
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The Ice Storm (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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The Ice Storm -- 1973, suburban Connecticut, middle class families experimenting with casual sex, drink and drugs find their lives out of control.
The Ice Storm -- 1973, suburban Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex, drink, etc., find their lives out of control.


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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
26 November 1997 (USA) See more »
It was 1973, and the climate was changing. See more »
1973, suburban New Canaan, Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 29 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of Ang Lee's Finest Films See more (287 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kevin Kline ... Ben Hood

Joan Allen ... Elena Hood

Sigourney Weaver ... Janey Carver

Henry Czerny ... George Clair

Tobey Maguire ... Paul Hood

Christina Ricci ... Wendy Hood

Elijah Wood ... Mikey Carver

Adam Hann-Byrd ... Sandy Carver

David Krumholtz ... Francis Davenport

Jamey Sheridan ... Jim Carver

Kate Burton ... Dorothy Franklin
William Cain ... Ted Shackley
Michael Cumpsty ... Philip Edwards

Maia Danziger ... Mrs. Gadd

Katie Holmes ... Libbets Casey
Michael Egerman ... Pharmacist
Christine Farrell ... Marie Earle

Glenn Fitzgerald ... Neil Conrad

Allison Janney ... Dot Halford

Jonathan Freeman ... Ted Franklin

Barbara Garrick ... Weather Reporter

Dennis Gagomiros ... Stephen Earle (as Dennis Gazomiros)

John Benjamin Hickey ... Mark Boland
Tom Flagg ... Train Conductor

Byron Jennings ... Pierce Sawyer
Miles Marek ... Mr. Gadd

Colette Kilroy ... Sari Steele
Ivan Kronenfeld ... Jack Moellering

Daniel McDonald ... Weatherman
Donna Mitchell ... Maria Conrad
Barbara Neal ... Helen Wentworth
Nancy Opel ... Claudia White

Larry Pine ... Dave Gorman
Wendy Scott ... Pharmacy Attendant
Marcell Rosenblatt ... Mikey's Teacher
Evelyn Solann ... Woman in Pharmacy

Jessica Stone ... Marge

Sarah Thompson ... Beth
Scott Wentworth ... Paul's Teacher
Robert Westenberg ... Rob Halford (as Rob Westenberg)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Colleen Camp ... Dr. Pasmier (uncredited)
Bill McIntyre ... Libbet's Doorman (uncredited)

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Joe O'Connor ... Marty (uncredited)

Courtney Peldon ... Billie (uncredited)

Bettina Skye ... Drug Store Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
Ang Lee 
Writing credits
Rick Moody (novel)

James Schamus 

Produced by
Alysse Bezahler .... associate producer
Anthony Bregman .... associate producer
Ted Hope .... producer
Ang Lee .... producer
James Schamus .... producer
Original Music by
Mychael Danna 
Cinematography by
Frederick Elmes 
Film Editing by
Tim Squyres 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Mark Friedberg 
Art Direction by
Bob Shaw 
Set Decoration by
Stephanie Carroll 
Costume Design by
Carol Oditz 
Makeup Department
Michal Bigger .... makeup artist
Kathryn Bihr .... assistant makeup artist (as Katie Bihr)
Linda DeVetta .... makeup artist: Ms. Weaver
Francis Kohler .... assistant makeup artist
Aaron F. Quarles .... hair stylist
James Sarzotti .... makeup artist
Donna Spahn .... assistant hair stylist
Production Management
Alysse Bezahler .... unit production manager
Anthony Bregman .... post-production supervisor
Nancy Kriegel .... production supervisor
Melissa Marr .... assistant unit manager
Kelly Miller .... post-production supervisor
John Rath .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rip Murray .... first assistant director (as James W. Murray Jr.)
Brian O'Kelley .... second assistant director
Linda Perkins .... second second assistant director
Lisa M. Rowe .... second assistant director (as Lisa Rowe)
Stephen Wertimer .... first assistant director
Art Department
Wally Adee .... assistant property master
Paige Bailey .... art department coordinator
Robert Barnett .... camera scenic artist
Pedro Barquin .... greensperson
Eric Bart .... scenic artist
Stephen Barth .... scenic artist (as Steve Barth)
Judson Bell .... carpenter
Billy Bishop .... set dresser
James Brown .... construction grip
Stephen Caldwell .... scenic artist (as Steve Caldwell)
Deborah Canfield .... set dresser (as Debbie Canfield)
Kelly Canfield .... key set dresser
Scott Canfield .... set dresser
Marshall Carbee .... scenic artist
Joe Casillo .... construction grip
Thomas Costabile .... construction coordinator
Jack Coyle .... carpenter
Guido DeCurtis .... greensperson
Katy Dilkes .... scenic foreperson
Robert Dillon .... carpenter
Lauren Doner .... scenic artist
Peter K. Dunbar .... leadman (as Peter Dunbar)
Judith Evans .... scenic artist (as Judy Evans)
John Farina .... construction grip
John D. Farrell .... carpenter (as John Farrell)
James C. Feng .... assistant art director (as James Feng)
Charlie Foster .... set dresser
Edward Gangloff .... carpenter (as Ed Gangloff)
Emily Gaunt .... key scenic shop person
Michael Greene .... scenic artist
Alisa Grifo .... art department assistant
John Harajovic .... set dresser
James Hoff .... scenic foreperson
Claude Horstmann .... carpenter (as Claude Horstman)
Christopher Hébel .... scenic artist
Ashalon Jones .... construction grip
Richard M. Jones .... scenic artist (as Richard Jones)
Eugene Kagansky .... scenic artist
Paul D. Kelly .... assistant art director (as Paul Kelly)
Tina Khayat .... assistant to production designer
Arcady Kotler .... scenic artist
Rob Landoll .... shop production assistant
David Levine .... shop electric
Jim Lillis .... on-set dresser
Elizabeth Linn .... charge scenic
Nicholas Lundy .... assistant art director
Sean Lynch .... greensperson
E. Reynold Maher .... scenic artist
Vietta Maher .... scenic artist
Mark Mann .... construction foreman
Etienne Martine .... set dresser
Brick Mason .... storyboards
Butch McCarthy .... stand-by greensperson (as John 'Butch' McCarthy)
John McHugh .... carpenter
Darius Menard .... greensperson
Michael Miles .... scenic artist
Monique Mitchell .... construction grip
Micheal Murphy .... set dresser (as Michael Murphy)
Patrick Murphy .... set dresser
Don Nace .... scenic artist (as Don Nance)
Peter E. Nauyokas .... set dresser (as Peter Nauyokas)
Jennifer Alex Nickason .... assistant set decorator (as Jennifer Alex)
Christopher J. Noonan .... key carpenter
Thomas Nousias .... scenic shop person (as Tom Noucias)
Brandon Odegaard .... shop electric
Myron Odegaard .... shop electric
John David Paul .... scenic artist (as John Paul)
Jesse Pelikan .... shop production assistant (as Jesse Peliken)
Mark Peltzer .... property master
Graydon Pihlaja .... greens foreperson
Mario Presterone .... set dresser
Gennaro Proscia .... carpenter (as Genarro Proscia)
Vincent Reilly .... construction grip
Paul Richards .... set dresser
Chris Ruzek .... scenic shop person
Will Scheck .... lead greensperson
Rob Schmitt .... key construction grip (as Robert W. Schmitt)
Barret Schumacher .... set dresser
Cheryl Stewart .... scenic artist
Jonathan Tessler .... additional props
Robin Thomas .... art department assistant
Dominic Toto .... greensperson
Billy Vann .... construction grip best boy (as Billy Van)
Frank Vigilante .... construction grip
Thomas White .... carpenter
Mary Wigmore .... art department assistant
Paul Wilson .... set dresser
Kelly T. Winn .... set dresser (as Kelly Winn)
Travis Wright .... on-set dresser
Frances Catalano .... best boy construction grip (uncredited)
Carlos Menéndez .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Boulton .... adr recordist: Sound One
Tim J. Carroll .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Kam Chan .... foley editor
Benjamin Cheah .... assistant sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Chris Fielder .... assistant sound editor
Eugene Gearty .... sound effects designer
Mark Goodermote .... boom operator
Ghretta Hynd .... sound coordinator
Frank Kern .... foley editor
Andy Kris .... adr recordist: Spin Cycle Post, Inc.
Drew Kunin .... sound mixer
Julie Lindner .... assistant sound editor
Marissa Littlefield .... adr editor
Gasuza Lwanga .... apprentice sound editor
Todd Milner .... assistant sound editor
Glenfield Payne .... assistant sound editor
Bruce Pross .... foley supervisor
Fred Rosenberg .... dialogue editor
Reilly Steele .... sound re-recording mixer: Sound One
Philip Stockton .... supervising sound editor
Allan Zaleski .... sound effects intern (as Alan Zaleski)
Dustin DuPilka .... assistant foley artist (uncredited)
Steve Hamilton .... post-production sound designer (uncredited)
Bill Hermans .... second engineer (uncredited)
V.B. Paravati .... sound transfer technician (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Edward Drohan III .... special effects
Edward Drohan IV .... special effects
George Drohan .... special effects
Greg Hagler .... special effects
Daniel Ottesen .... special effects
John Ottesen .... special effects supervisor
Ron Ottesen .... special effects (as Ronald R. Ottesen Jr.)
Rich Pashayan .... special effects
John Rapp .... special effects
Theodore Suchecki .... special effects (as Ted Suchecki)
Visual Effects by
Randall Balsmeyer .... visual effects supervisor: Balsmeyer & Everett (as Randy Balsmeyer)
Kathy Kelehan .... visual effects producer: Balsmeyer & Everett
Daniel Leung .... digital compositing supervisor: Balsmeyer & Everett
Gary Maxwell .... train miniatures: Sessums Engineering
Michael O. Sajbel .... train miniatures: Sessums Engineering (as Michael Sajbel)
Jack Sessums .... train miniatures: Sessums Engineering
Matt McDonald .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Alan McFarland .... miniature train lighting effects (uncredited)
G.A. Aguilar .... stunt coordinator
Jill Brown .... stunt double
Douglas Crosby .... stunt coordinator
Danny Downey .... stunt double: Elijah Wood
Lizzie Olesker .... stunts
Susan Trout .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Blair .... rigging electrician (as Bob Blair)
Joseph Bruck .... additional electrician (as Joseph R. Bruck)
Peter C. Caldwell .... additional electrician
Tony Campenni .... company grip
John Cardoni .... rigging gaffer
Andrew Casey .... Steadicam operator (as Andy Casey)
Adger W. Cowans .... still photographer (as Adger Cowans)
Joe Donohue III .... company grip (as Joe Donahue)
James W. Finnerty .... key grip (as Jimmy Finnerty)
Jamie Gallagher .... electrician
Michael Gallart .... electrician
Michael Gallart .... lamp operator
Adam Gilmore .... second assistant camera
Ed Gleason .... video assist operator
Brad Goss .... dolly grip
Dennis Green .... 24 frame video operator
Andy Harris .... first assistant camera
Timothy Healy .... electrician
Gary Hildebrand .... best boy electric
William Jones .... company grip (as Bill Jones)
Tom Kerwick .... best boy grip
David La Rue .... company grip (as Dave La Rue)
Steven E. Lawler .... additional grip
Jonathan Lumley .... gaffer
Jim McMillan Jr. .... key rigging grip (as Jim McMillan Sr.)
James McMillan .... rigging grip
Tim McMillan .... rigging grip
Andy Niceberg .... additional electrician
Phil Oetiker .... camera operator
Kabkeo Phothivongsa .... rigging electrician
Frank Prinzi .... photographer: second unit
Patrick Quinn .... camera loader
Rick Raphael .... Steadicam operator (as Rick Rafael)
Donald W. Schreck .... best boy rigging electric
John Sosenko .... camera operator
Paul Steinberg .... additional electrician
Peter Walts .... rigging gaffer
William M. Weberg .... company grip (as Bill Weberg)
Barry Wetcher .... still photographer
Perry Wolberger .... rigging electrician
Chris Zizzo .... rigging electrician
Lee Ayrton .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Andrew Casey .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
R. Derek Keener .... electrician (uncredited)
David Larue .... grip (uncredited)
William MacGhee .... rigging electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Judie Fixler .... extras casting
Julie Lichter .... casting associate
Alyson Silverberg .... extras casting coordinator
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Frank Alberino .... wardrobe intern
Laurie Buehler .... seamstress (as Laurie J. Buehler)
Anastasia Leopold .... wardrobe production assistant
Elizabeth Shelton .... associate costume designer
Melissa Stanton .... wardrobe supervisor (as Melissa Adzima-Stanton)
Thomas Stokes .... wardrobe supervisor (as Tom Stokes)
Leslie Yarmo .... assistant to costume designer
Tonya Leonard .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Kathy Oberlin .... costume constructor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Yasmine Amitai .... second assistant editor
Glen Basner .... post-production assistant
Gloria Kaiser .... color timer: Technicolor
Ross Katz .... post-production assistant
Susan Littenberg .... first assistant editor
Ian Silverstein .... second assistant editor
Patricia Sztaba .... negative cutter
Stan Sztaba .... negative cutter
Location Management
Declan Baldwin .... location supervisor: Feature Line
Shannon Causey .... location coordinator (as Shannon Bowen)
Laura Franses .... location production assistant
David Graham .... location scout
Janet Henry .... location production assistant
David Ray Martin .... assistant location manager (as David Martin)
Greg McHale .... location scout
Mike S. Ryan .... assistant location manager
Ashley W. Sieg .... location production assistant (as Ashley Sieg)
Eddy Collyns .... location scout (uncredited)
Jay Horne .... location scout (uncredited)
Nancy Roth .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
Bill Brennan .... musician: Gamelan music
Christopher Dedrick .... conductor
Mark Duggan .... musician: Gamelan music
Brad Haehnel .... music score recordist: Manta Eastern Sound
Daniel Cecil Hill .... musician: North American native flutes
Jamie Hopkings .... orchestrator
Paul Houle .... musician: Gamelan music
Blair Mackay .... musician: Gamelan music (as Blair MacKay)
Patrick Mullins .... music editor (as Pat Mullins)
Alex Steyermark .... music supervisor
Maisie Weissman .... assistant to music supervisor
Colin Aguiar .... assistant to composer (uncredited)
Colin Aguiar .... assistant: Mychael Danna (uncredited)
Ron Korb .... musician: flute (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Bob Anderson .... driver
Frank Appedu .... driver
Ed Blacknick .... driver
John Brady .... driver
Theodore Brown Jr. .... driver (as Ted Brown Jr.)
Jack Buckman .... driver
Jim Cablusky .... driver
Matt Calley .... driver
Michael Canosa .... driver (as Mike Canosa)
Steve Chartrand .... driver
James H. Chlebowski .... driver
Thomas Colavito .... driver (as Tom Colavito)
Richard Euell .... driver
Robert Featherstone .... driver (as Bobby Featherstone)
Al Gardner .... driver
Danny Houghton .... driver (as Dan Houghton)
Jacqueline L. Hurd .... picture car production assistant (as Jacquie Hurd)
Tony Ingrassellino .... driver
Paul Kane .... driver
Leonard Luizzi .... driver (as Lenny Luizzo)
Joe Mallon .... driver
Robert Martini .... driver (as Bobby Martini)
George Moran .... driver
Robert Morgan .... driver
Regis Mullaney .... driver (as Regis J. Mullaney)
Jimmy Nugent .... transportation captain
Kevin O'Neil .... driver
Danny Poseidento .... driver
Bob Rohr .... driver
Frank Scarvy .... driver
Kevin Smith .... driver
Mike Stowe .... driver
Ray Sullivan .... driver
Dan Thelen .... driver
John Uberti .... driver
James Williams .... driver
Frank Young .... driver
Other crew
Ryan Allen .... production secretary
Jenn Blais .... set production assistant (as Jennifer M. Blais)
Beth Boyd .... production coordinator (as Beth A. Boyd)
Craig Cannold .... auditor
Daniel B. Canton .... day generator operator (as Daniel Canton)
Jean-Christophe Castelli .... researcher
Wendy Cohen .... clearance
Wendy Cohen .... product placement
John M. Craig .... set production assistant (as John Craig)
Mary Cybulski .... script supervisor
Stephen Dweck .... jeweller: Ms. Weaver
Chris Elam .... office production assistant
Paul D. Fischer .... film runner (as Paul Fischer)
Theresa Giardino Finnerty .... payroll accountant
Jeanne Gilliland .... utility person
Rhona Gordon .... tutor
Dean Haspiel .... office production assistant
Jeff Hill .... unit publicist
Christine Hoppe .... accounting assistant
Susanna Horng .... assistant: Mr. Lee
Joyce Hsieh .... post-production accountant
Apoorva Lakhia .... set production assistant (as Apoovra Lakhia)
David Lee .... assistant: Mr. Ang Lee
Millys Lee .... unit publicist
Deanna Leslie .... set production assistant
Sig Libowitz .... assistant: Mr. Schamus
Johnny Lu .... jeweller
Gillian Malone .... craft service
Ross Miller .... insurance
Tracy Moore .... set intern
Edmund Nardone .... projectionist
Santiago Navila .... assistant: Mr. Schamus
Stuart Nicolai .... office production assistant
Karin Nystrom .... tutor
Bryan O'Cain .... production intern
Hetakaisa Paarte .... assistant: Mr. Hope
Virginia Plath .... assistant stage manager
Martina Pozzi .... craft service
Libby Richman .... assistant production coordinator
Olimpia T. Rinaldi .... assistant auditor
Allison Russo .... set production assistant (as Alison Russo)
Deidre Schrowang .... office liaison: New York City
Amy Shultz .... insurance (as Amy Schulz)
Gregory J. Smith .... set production assistant (as Gregory John Smith)
José Tejada .... parking coordinator (as Jose Tejada)
Jessica Weigmann .... assistant: Mr. Schamus
Matt Whitcher .... office production assistant
Eric David Zoback .... stage manager (as Eric Zoback)
Claudia Lewis .... production executive (uncredited)
Vernon Rodriquez .... parking assistant (uncredited)
Bill Timoney .... adr loop group (uncredited)
Aron Warner .... production executive (uncredited)
Fritzi Ahadi .... special thanks: art contributions
Dante Brown .... special thanks: Harlem Tennis Center
Claude Cargill .... special thanks: Harlem Tennis Center
Gayle Carpenter .... special thanks: State of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs
Rico Fanseco .... special thanks: art contributions
Robert Fegues .... special thanks: State of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs
Ellsworth Kelly .... special thanks: art contributions
Mon Levinson .... special thanks: art contributions
Roy Lichtenstein .... special thanks: art contributions
Peter Max .... special thanks: art contributions
Peter G. Murphy .... special thanks: administative officer, New Canaan, Connecticut
LeRoy Neiman .... special thanks: art contributions (as Leroy Neiman)
Robert Rauschenberg .... special thanks: art contributions
Jack Rhodes Sr. .... acknowledgment: supplier of "Divorce Court"
Jodi Scherer .... special thanks: art contributions
Stephen Seiter .... special thanks: State of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs (as Lieutenant Stephen Seiter)
George W. Trendle Jr. .... acknowledgment: supplier of "Green Hornet"
Sherle Wagner .... special thanks: art contributions
Cecil K. Watkins .... special thanks: Harlem Tennis Center
Eric Weiner .... special thanks: State of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs (as Lieutenant Eric Weiner)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for sexuality and drug use, including scenes involving children, and for language
112 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The real ice storm portrayed in the film happened December 16-17 in 1973 and was named "Felix."See more »
Anachronisms: The Tampax box glimpsed in the chemist's is a modern design while the packaging in the medicine cabinet is correct for the time.See more »
[first lines]
Train Conductor:Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This train, originating from New York's Grand Central Station, is back in service. Next stop will be New Canaan, Connecticut. New Canaan, Connecticut next stop.
Paul Hood:[narration] In issue 141 of the Fantastic Four, published in November, 1973, Reed Richards had to use his anti-matter weapon on his own son, who Aannihilus has turn into the Human Atom Bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four, because they weren't like other superheroes...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Samba TristeSee more »


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95 out of 115 people found the following review useful.
One of Ang Lee's Finest Films, 18 March 2002
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

The difference between adolescence and adulthood can be defined in terms of years or age, but when it comes right down to it, the only real difference is in the experiences the added years provide. As we mature, we are at some point confronted with the realization-- some sooner, some later-- that age and experience do not necessarily equate to satisfaction and personal identity in our lives, the two things we are all, though perhaps subconsciously, striving to attain. But it's an elusive butterfly we're chasing; and at a certain age, the lack of fulfillment in one's life may be dismissed out-of-hand by some as a midlife crisis in a feeble attempt to justify certain actions or attitudes. Attaching such a label to it, however, is merely simplifying a state of being that seems to be perpetually misunderstood, and we resort to using psychological ploys on ourselves in order to rationalize away behavior that is often unacceptable in the cold light of reason and morality. This, of course, is not a unique situation, but an inevitable step one takes upon reaching an age at which the awareness of mortality begins to set in, which is something we all have to deal with in our own way, in our own time. And it's an issue that lies allegorically at the heart of director Ang Lee's pensive, insightful drama, `The Ice Storm,' in which we discover that-- more often than not-- the adult we become is nothing more than an extension of the adolescent; we may shed the skin of youth, but the awkward confusion and uncertainty remains, albeit manifested in different ways, to which for awhile we may respond in opposition even to our own conscience, creating a double standard in our lives which only serves to exacerbate the confusion and unhappiness, leaving us alone to face the cold and frozen landscapes of our own soul.

Working from an insightful and intelligent screenplay by James Schamus (who also wrote Lee's `Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and `Eat Drink Man Woman,' among others), Lee has crafted and delivered a lyrical and poetic-- though somewhat dark-- film that tells the story of two neighboring families living in Connecticut in the early ‘70s: Ben and Elena Hood (Kevin Kline and Joan Allen) and their children, Paul (Tobey Maguire) and Wendy (Christina Ricci); and Jim and Janey Carver (Jamey Sheridan and Sigourney Weaver) and their children, Mikey (Elijah Wood) and Sandy (Adam Hann-Byrd). And it's a story to which many will be able to relate on a very personal, individual level, as it reflects an issue common to us all-- that of trying to make a tangible connection with someone or something in our life that we can hold on to and take comfort in. Ben and Elena have grown apart; she has distanced herself emotionally and sexually from Ben, and unfulfilled, she longs again for the freedom of her spent youth, while Ben seeks solace in an emotionally vapid but physically satisfying relationship with another woman. Jim, who spends much of his time on the road, has become completely disconnected from his entire family; his children are apathetic to his very presence, and Janey exists in a constant state of promiscuous numbness, yet cold and indifferent to her own husband.

The Hood and Carver children, meanwhile, are suffering the pains of adolescence and trying to figure out the world in which they live, exploring their feelings with and for one another and attempting to understand the whys and wherefores of it all. And to whom can they turn for guidance in an era that's giving them Nixon and Watergate, new age spiritualism and self-absorbed parents who teach one thing and do another?

The story unfolds through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Paul, whose meditations on the literal and figurative ice storm that descends upon the two families over a long Thanksgiving weekend forms the narrative of the film. And it's through Paul's observations that Lee so subtly and effectively presents his metaphor, in which he captures the beauty, as well as the ugliness, that inexplicably coexists within and which surrounds the turbulence and turmoil of the Hood's and Carver's world, which is ultimately visited by tragedy as their drama proceeds to it's inevitable climax. It's sensitive material that will undoubtedly touch a nerve with many in the audience, and Lee takes great care to present it accordingly, with a studied finesse that makes it an emotionally involving and thoroughly engrossing drama.

Lee also knows how to get the best out of his actors, and there are a number of outstanding and memorable performances in this film, beginning with that of Kevin Kline. Kline does comedy well, but he does drama even better, as he proves here with his portrayal of Ben. The final scene of the film, in fact, belongs to Kline, as it is here that we discover the true nature of the man he is in his heart of hearts. It's a superb piece of acting, and one of the real strengths of the film.

Joan Allen also turns in a strong performance through which she reveals the insufferable inner conflict that so affects Elena's life, and especially her relationship with Ben. And it's in Allen's character, more than any of the others, that we see how fine the line is between the adult and the adolescent. It is not unusual to find a bit of the mother in the daughter; but Allen shows us through Elena just how much of the daughter is actually in the mother, which underscores one of the basic tenets of the film. It's a performance that should've earned Allen an Oscar nomination at the very least.

Also turning in performances that demand special attention are Maguire, Ricci, Wood and especially Jamey Sheridan, whose portrayal of Jim is one of his best-- it's believable, and totally honest. Penetrating and incisive, `The Ice Storm' is remarkably poignant and absorbing; without question, it's one of Lee's finest films. 10/10.

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