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The Ice Storm

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Original title
The Ice Storm
Running time
113 min.
United States United States
James Schamus (Novel: Rick Moody)
Mychael Danna
Frederick Elmes
Fox Searchlight, Good Machine
Drama | 1970s. Family Relationships. Thanksgiving
Synopsis / Plot
It’s November 1973 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Watergate has caught up with Richard Nixon. The Beatles are recording solo albums. Wife-swapping has come to the suburbs. And, the Hood family is skidding out of control. Ben Hood (Kevin Kline) is trying to bed his mistress, next-door neighbor Janey Carver (Sigourney Weaver), who seems oddly uninterested. Ben’s wife, Elena (Joan Allen), is reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Human Sexual Response and losing patience with her husband’s clumsy lies. Young Wendy Hood (Christina Ricci) is finding new games to play with the boys next door, Mikey Carver (Elijah Wood) and his little brother Sandy (Adam Hann-Byrd).
The day after Thanksgiving, the Hoods’ son Paul (Tobey Maguire) escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school, and Ben and Elena attend a cocktail party which turns out to be a “key party”: a wife-swapping lottery at the end of the evening for couples who dare or just don’t care anymore.
As night falls and the members of the family embark on their separate sexual odysseys, the worst ice storm in thirty years hits the coast. The worst ice storm in thirty years. The events of that night -- by turns ribald, comic and tragic -- will bring the Hood family face-to-face with one another for the first time when they meet again, in the cold early light of the morning after the ice storm has passed.
1997: Cannes Film Festival: Best Screenplay
1997: Golden Globes: Nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Weaver)
1997: Guldbagge Awards (Sweden): Best Foreign Film
1997: BAFTA Awards: Best Sup. Actress (Weaver). Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
1997: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
1997: Chicago Film Critics Awards: 3 Nom., incl. Best Director & Cinematography
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