Saturday, September 27, 2008

MOVIE: SNOW ANGELS



Snow Angels is a 2008 drama film starring Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale. It was directed by David Gordon Green, who also wrote the screenplay adapted from Stewart O'Nan's 1994 novel of the same title.

"Snow Angels" tells the parallel tales of a teenager named Arthur (Michael Angarano) and his onetime babysitter Annie (Beckinsale) -- whose turbulent relationship with her estranged husband, Glenn (Rockwell), leads the small-town waitress down a troubled path. Arthur is a high-school student from a dysfunctional family, and does everything in his power to avoid hanging around the house while mom and dad quarrel. When he's not practicing his trombone and performing with the high-school marching band, Arthur can usually be found bussing tables at the local Chinese restaurant and flirting with older waitress Annie. Annie used to be Arthur's babysitter, and is currently struggling to separate from her former high-school sweetheart, Glenn. But being a single mother isn't easy, especially since the troubled Glenn wants nothing more than to clean up his act and reunite his family.

Back at school, Arthur and pretty classmate Lila (Olivia Thirlby) have been bonding over their mutual love for all things geeky. Though the casual friendship shows promise of evolving into something more when Lila expresses her true feelings for Arthur, he can't help but becoming distracted by his chaotic family life: his father is moving out of the family home, and his mother is doing everything in her power to maintain some semblance of normalcy. Realizing that happiness is fleeting as his family becomes shattered and Annie experiences a series of distressing encounters with Glenn, Arthur gradually begins to fall for Lisa despite his growing cynicism concerning long-term relationships. Later, on a cold winter morning, Glenn and Annie's past catches up with them in a blinding flash, and the lives of everyone they know are suddenly and irrevocably changed.




"Snow Angels" is a cold looking movie and another masterpiece by David Gordon Green. I haven't seen "Pineapple Express" yet but I hear good things. If you can make a movie like this and then go on to do something like "Pineapple Express" and do it well, then you have got a gift of making movies. He fills his movies with actors that don't seem like actors but like normal people off the street. His more recent films have had more noticeable actors in them but don't let that fool you. Beckinsale and Rockwell give some of the best performances I have seen in a long time.

The film is filled with depressing scenes and shots of the cold hard winter. But it is also filled with scenes of tenderness and love. The Beckinsale and Rockwell story is the depressing one. The story with Angarano and Thirlby is filled with magic. Here is a couple that have just found each other and are falling in love while Beckinsale and Rockwell have fallen out of love long ago. Rockwell isn't taking their breakup well and they both argue about the care of their daughter.

The movie is filled with awesome scenes. Like the scenes with the marching band, Rockwell dancing in a bar in perhaps the most creepy dancing bar scene I have ever seen, the discovery of someone who has gone missing and the scene where Thirlby reveals her love. Thirlby gives her friend Juno a run for her money in a great performance. This might be a depressing film for a lot of people and it kind of is, but it is also a great film filled with love.

SNOW ANGELS: 10 OUT OF 10



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