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Criterion Release: The Ice Storm

July 30, 2013

The Ice Storm Blu-ray CoverThe 1997 classic The Ice Storm was released on Blu-ray last week, as part of the Criterion Collection.  Set during Thanksgiving in 1973, the film follows a family on the verge of collapse, as Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) is having an affair with neighbour Janey (Sigourney Weaver), and his wife Elena (Joan Allen) is growing tired of him.  Their son Paul (Tobey Maguire) is home for the weekend and their daughter Wendy (Christina Ricci) has challenges of her own, while everything comes to a head as they spend time with their neighbours and an ice storm hits the suburban town.

Directed by the great Ang Lee, who masterfully handles the many different elements at play throughout the haunting screenplay, this is an excellent film that expertly captures both the changing political times of the early 1970s and the equally complicated emotions of the characters.  Among the many definitive films of the 1990s, The Ice Storm has standout acting and deserves its place as part of the Criterion Collection.

The highly recommended Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, a documentary on the production, commentary with Ang Lee and screenwriter James Schamus, as well as a lengthy conversation with both of them and an interview with author Rick Moody.  Also included is a nicely written essay by critic Bill Krohn.

The Ice Storm is 113 minutes and rated 14A.

-John C.

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