Wound tight and cocky, Jimmy Starks is a smooth-talking salesman certain he's on the verge of a big break. Even when his car stalls in the middle of nowhere, a roadside soothsayer assures him a windfall is on its way. But although Jimmy should be happy when his boss suddenly agrees to financially back his business venture, he starts to become paranoid instead. As his girlfriend Deirdre and his best friend/ business partner Ed watch him slowly come unwound, Jimmy wonders if a past betrayal of his friend, newly paroled Vince, could be catching up to him. And, as the weather turns cold, Jimmy can't help but fear the mysterious seer's other prediction... that there'll be no tomorrow after the first snow.
FIRST SNOW is a relatively low budget vehicle for star Guy Pearce, attempting to plough the same sort of furrow as his superlative MEMENTO. The simplistic storyline sees the star given news of his impending death by a trailer-park psychic, at which point his life begins to unravel as he attempts to do all he can to avert impending disaster.
The story in this one is straightforward enough, but it's more of a mood piece than anything. The small town photography is excellent and there's a cast of eccentrics and seasoned professionals who help to bring the story to life; Shea Wigham, William Fichtner, and J.K. Simmons are the stand-outs here. Pearce is excellent, as he always has been, and the director builds a genuine sense of foreboding as the narrative heads for its inevitable conclusion. My only real fault is that the twist ending is way, way too obvious.
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