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The Ice Storm (1997)

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In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.

Director:

Ang Lee

Writers:

Rick Moody (based upon the novel by), James Schamus (screenplay by)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 William Cain ... Ted Shackley
Michael Cumpsty ... Philip Edwards
Maia Danziger ... Mrs. Gadd
Katie Holmes ... Libbets Casey
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Storyline

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... Written by Emory Herbertson <shrikes.fox@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was 1973, and the climate was changing. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and drug use, including scenes involving children, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La tormenta de hielo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$75,183, 28 September 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,837,632, 8 February 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time the story takes place, the NY MTA had existed since 1967 but the railroad in the film was operated by Penn Central. In 1983 operation was taken over by Metro North Commuter Railroad, in 2016 it is known as simply Metro North Railroad. See more »

Goofs

The MTA did not exist at the time. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Spoofed in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Montego Bay
Written by Jeff Barry & Bobby Bloom
Used by permission of EMI Unart Catalog Inc (BMI)
Performed by Bobby Bloom
Courtesy of Polydor Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, Thought-Provoking and Eye-Opening
21 November 2007 | by MichaelMargetisSee all my reviews

'The Ice Storm' is an incredibly bleak and dark film set in the 70s about two connected families during the holiday break of Thanksgiving. The first family consists of Ben (Kevin Kline) and Elena (Joan Allen), and their two kids -- 16-year-old Paul (Tobey Maguire) just home from boarding school, and 14-year-old Wendy (Christina Ricci) a wannabe anti-war/anti-Nixon elitist who is coming to terms with her own sexuality. The second family consists of Janey (Sigourney Weaver) whom Ben is having an affair with, her husband Jim (Jamey Sheridan), and their two boys -- the neurotic intro-vert Mikey (Elijah Wood) and his younger shy pyro-maniac brother Sandy (AdamN Hann Byrd). The film takes place during Thanksgiving day and the day after in the lives of these people -- including Ben and Elena's marriage being put to the test at a swinger's party with Janey and Jim, Paul's love conquest in New York City with a girl from boarding school named Libbets (Katie Holmes), and Wendy's sexual misadventures with Mikey and Sandy both.

'The Ice Storm' is an incredibly powerful and relevant ensemble piece about the complexity of family and relationships both sexual and non-sexual. Ang Lee once again proves he is a director of great skill and exquisite understanding of human emotions, and James Schamus provides a harrowing and painfully realistic screenplay. Kevin Kline delivers yet another near-flawless dramatic performance, while Sigourney Weaver is great in her interesting yet limited role. The children of the ensemble cast (Maguire, Byrd, Wood, Ricci, Holmes, Krumholtz) are all excellent, especially Christina Ricci who owns her role. However, the real scene-stealer in my eyes is the marvelous Joan Allen who plays her role with such intensity and elegance that I'm shocked she didn't receive a Best Actress Oscar Nomination.

In conclusion, 'The Ice Storm' is a powerful little movie that's interesting yet not exciting. It isn't groundbreaking by any standards, but it's incredibly well-made. 'The Ice Storm' was totally ignored at the '98 Oscar Ceremony, but that comes to no enormous surprise. It was competing in the same year 'L.A. Confidential', 'Boogie Nights', 'Amistad', 'The Sweet Hereafter', 'As Good as It Gets' and the dreadfully overrated 'Titanic' were. A small little character study like 'The Ice Storm' didn't stand a chance. If you can appreciate a movie like this, I highly recommend this oldie I just got around to seeing. Grade: A-


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