Sleepless in suburbia



I am not a big fan of Ang Lee's 1997 film, The Ice Storm, based on Rick Moody's novel about dispirited suburbanites, and set during Thanksgiving 1973.

Lee made it after Sense and Sensibility with his regular producer-screenwriter James Schamus, and it takes a somewhat freeze-dried approach to matters of the heart [and other organs].

This is an American version of the existential chamber dramas that Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni did much better, and it influenced American Beauty. With Watergate unfolding in the background, the residents of a small town in Connecticut begin to slip into a void where social taboos are shattered on a whim and the line between adult authority and juvenile irresponsibility ceases to exist.

Among the DVD extras is an interview with Lee and Schamus, who talk of Lee's entire career, from Pushing Hands and The Hulk to Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution. Lee admits he only takes on material that scares him into changing course, which explains his astonishing versatility.


The Ice Storm. From Dh125 at all good entertainment stores