March 13, 2006

THE ICE HARVEST
Harold Ramis, USA 2005

7.5
Harold Ramis' The Ice Harvest passed through theaters unnoticed during the holidays. the trailer looked smart and promising, but dark comedies have a way of eluding mainstream audiences. and it did. their loss because John Cusack delivers one the finest performances i've seen from him. he does the lightweight stuff as always but here he adds an earnest and somber quality to the part that i hadn't seen before. Oliver Platt (remember Flatliners?) actually steals his scenes as the drunk friend Charlie (Cusack) carries along through the night. of course Billy Bob Thornton is as good as always but here it feels a bit too much like his recent crook characters. we've seen him do this enough times by now. he can do it in his sleep and it's not that interesting anymore. serviceable, but doesn't add anything new. Connie Nielsen is the only weird performance i couldn't peg down. it came out of the old Film Noir vixens but it didn't quite fit with the Fargo tone of the film or with Cusack's more down-to-earth quality. the film, two crooks' attempt to pull off their final heist (on christmas eve), and the ensuing escapade through the night, is about Charlie trying to figure out who he is through this whole ordeal. The Ice Harvest is a good film and a nice way to spend ninety minutes. just don't expect it to leave a mark on your cinematic plate.

Posted by Sam | 12:51 PM |