Our Holiday Favorites: The Ice Storm


Elijah Wood in The Ice Storm

My Elijah Wood obsession pre-dates his appearance on the children's television series Yo Gabba Gabba and his starring role in the FX television series Wilfred.

What I do when I become strangely fixated on an actor is search for them on IMDb. I research their filmography and spend weekends watching everything listed, regardless of plot. So, thanks to Elijah Wood I've spent hours watching movies about a comet colliding with Earth, a dancing penguin and human-like people walking through a forest on top of talking trees.

However, if it were not for my Elijah Wood IMDb filmography obsession, I probably would not have seen The Ice Storm. I first watched the film last year, sitting at my desk alone in my dorm room. I remember it was freezing outside (hence, why I was in my dorm room ... wearing a peacoat) and there was a rumor floating around the hall that it was going to snow. People were already scouring campus for trash can lids to get in to slide down the hills. I thought, "Hmmm, instead of actually experiencing the cold weather firsthand, I'll watch a movie about people experiencing cold weather and live vicariously through them." 

The 1997 Ang Lee-directed film The Ice Storm, based on the novel of the same name by Rick Moody, is about a day in the life of the members of two interconnected dysfunctional Connecticut families during the Thanksgiving of 1973. The members of the Hood and Carver families use alcohol, drugs, adultery and sexual experimentation as forms of escapism. I just drink lots of coffee. My motto is: Refrain from the box o' wine. 

A dangerous ice storm hits New Canaan, resulting in some hilarious, unexpected, and oftentimes heartbreaking moments that are reminiscent, but less extreme examples, of family holiday get-togethers, at least in my neck of the woods. 

This coming-of-age tale has an all-star ensemble cast, which includes Joan Allen and Tobey Maguire (who re-teamed for the 1998 film Pleasantville); Christina Ricci, Katie Holmes (pre-Tom Cruise), Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver (not fighting aliens), and my man Elijah Wood. 

Thanksgiving has since come and gone. However, Elijah Wood is a man for all seasons. And I know no one wants to miss seeing him in really ugly turtlenecks. 

Want to watch? The Ice Storm will be showing at 6 pm on Tuesday at the Blanton Auditorium for the inaugural Austin Bat Cave literary series "Page 2 Screen." Author Rick Moody will be in attendance to discuss his novel and the film with Texas Tribune CEO and editor-in-chief Evan Smith. A book signing will precede the screening, with a Q&A to follow. In addition, you can rent the movie from Encore, I Luv Video and Vulcan Video. The trailer is embedded below.

The Ice Storm | Kevin Kline | Ang Lee | Joan Allen | Movie Trailer | Review