The Ice Storm (1997)

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Ang Lee directs Christina Ricci, Joan Allen and Kevin Kline in this 70s set ensemble piece about suburban malaise during a cold snap.  

There was a time when everything Christina Ricci appeared in was golden. She was the precocious watermark for quality, adult dramas, written with wit and cutting emotions. This was the best, and her best performance, surrounded by excellent actors of all generations. As the kids explore sex and rebellion but just need affection and integrity, the adults keep them locked out of their own experimentation with key parties and shoplifting. The results are brutal. As a showcase for considered screenwriting, imagery and performances this is one of the forgotten greats of 90s cinema. Only Tobey Maguire’s New Year’s Eve in New York subplot feels pedestrian, all other threads explore the unexpected. Interestingly, set the same year Don’t Look Now was made, this homages a key image and theme expertly from that favourite.

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