Following the death of his wife Audrey, John Munn moves with his two sons, mid-teen Chris Munn and adolescent Tim Munn, to a pig farm in rural Drees County, Georgia, where they lead a ... See full summary »
Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking ... See full summary »
On a cold afternoon, with snow on the ground, the high school band is practicing for the last football game. They hear shots. Flashback a few weeks before. Arthur is a high school student, bussing at a restaurant. Annie and Barb are waitresses there - Annie was Arthur's babysitter when he was little. She's now separated from her husband Glenn, who's on the wagon, starting a new job, praying to Jesus, and trying to prove he has his balance back so he can see more of their small daughter, Tara. Annie's seeing someone else, Arthur's parents have just separated, and Arthur is attracted to Lila, a new student at the high school. It's a small town, people's lives cross.Written by
David Gordon Green, who would end up directing the film, first worked on the script for another director. After 3 years, this other director moved on to other projects and Green was approached by the producers to make the film. See more »
In the scene where Arthur takes a swig from a bottle of beer hidden on the floor, he raises it with the label facing him. In the next cut scene, as he lowers the bottle, the label can be clearly seen facing the camera. See more »
[talking to his marching band through a megaphone]
Wrong, wrong, wrong! This is our last home game, people, and I don't understand what the problem is. Look at the person next to you. Do it! Look at the person behind you. I don't think we need the smiles. Thank you. Now we're all part of a formation. Every pers...
[megaphone squeals so he sets it aside]
Every person matters. Every step is an anticipation of the next. And if you don't think you have a complete concept of what we're ...
[...] See more »
The Now Penguin
Written by William Travis Graves & Tony Berg
Published by Chrysalis Songs OBO itself (BMI) and Ronnie Tenders Songs (BMI) and Moose and Squirrel Music (BMI)
Performed by Mt. Egypt
Produced by Tony Berg
Courtesy of Record Collection See more »
Snow Angels is set in a small town in America during a non-specific time. There are few details that define or accentuate time and place. It could be any small town, USA, and for all we know, it could be the present. All we really know is that it is cold and wintertime. Directed by David Gordon Green, Snow Angels is a somber, affecting meditation on sadness and fate, based on the novel written by Stewart O'Nan. It chronicles two weeks in the life of the central characters, whose lives are all connected in some way.
The movie begins with striking images of winter, barren trees and snow. A high school marching band is rehearsing outdoors for the football game. They are lethargic and out of tune. Their instructor chides them, and we here the sound of what might be gunshots in the distance. Everything stops and the story goes back to two weeks prior, where the characters are introduced. We see Arthur (Michael Angarano) the high school student busing tables in a Chinese restaurant. He works with his older friend Annie, played by Kate Beckinsale, the newly separated mother who used to baby-sit for Michael when he was young. Annie gives Arthur a ride home when his mother forgets to pick him up. Arthur's parents, played by Jeanette Arnette and Griffin Dunne, are also going through a separation.
Later we meet Annie's estranged husband Glen, played by Sam Rockwell. Early on we learn that he has had problems with drinking and keeping a job and even tried to take his own life as a result of his life apart from Annie and the baby. Somehow, he survived the suicide and has become a born again Christian, but his stability remains uncertain. We also meet the new student Lila, played by Olivia Thirlby, who befriends Arthur. Lila is the outsider who takes photographs as a hobby. She is on the outside literally peering in, like the audience. Early on, she shows Arthur her photographs of the town. Since her family moves around a lot, she likes to take pictures of her first impressions of the new places she moves to. They are beautiful portraits, all black and white, mostly of them empty landscapes and snow. Coldness and alienation is a constant theme that wraps around the characters to a nearly suffocating extent.
Green's direction is deliberate and slowly paced. The camera rests patiently upon the characters, giving them time to grow and breathe. Even in awkward moments, as there are in the life of a teenager, and in the tension rising moments of the adults who are enduring emotional pain, the shots are long and deliberate, with a quiet, gentle soundtrack that does not try to manipulate or force the action. Green allows the dialog and the performances of the actors drive the story. There is no melodrama, just painfully sad realities.
Snow Angels has the feel of an independent film in its simple story-telling and without bloated production values or faux sentimentality or gimmicky performances. It feels like real life, real people in a real town. The only problem is that it's real, real sad. In fact, it's too sad. Despite the artful direction and nuanced performances, the film itself has little balance, nothing to contrast the heavy weight of angst that smothers the characters as well as the audience. Fargo, (1996), was a similar movie a tragic tale of human failings, set in a vast, winter of emptiness. And yet, there were many contrasting elements which balanced the mood, such as hilarious dialog and mannerisms, a riveting, driving musical score and shocking, unexpected violence. Many aspects of that film were recognized for achievement in film-making and I believe it even received Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I would also dare say that this movie energized the careers of several of its little known actors and deservedly so, including Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy and Frances McDormand. But Snow Angels provides no such relief from its oppressive tone. I get the feeling that Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale needed an immediate retreat to a warm, tropic island after making this picture, (or at least a few sessions of therapy), and through no fault of their own. Their performances are great, but the movie, over all, leaves you with the need for immediate cleansing or escape, to anywhere that's warm.
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