Snow Angels David Gordon Green

Snow Angels David Gordon Green
Released only a few months before his stoner extravaganza Pineapple Express, the limited cinematic release of Snow Angels felt swept under the rug in preparation for Green’s first shot at a big studio picture. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that Snow Angels was sitting on the shelf for a good year before it got its chance, but Green’s fourth feature continued his realistic vision of personal crises in small town America. Keeping the momentum of the fervent Undertow going, Snow Angels opens with mysterious gun shots, only to rewind a few weeks to build up to its big reveal. Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell star as Annie and Glenn, a divorced couple with a daughter, Tara. As Glenn tries to re-enter society after a suicide attempt, he also looks to get his family back, though Annie has other ideas, sleeping with her best friend Barb’s (Amy Sedaris) husband, Nate (Nicky Katt). Then there is parallel teenage couple Arthur (Michael Angarano) and Lila (Olivia Thirlby), young lovebirds living through the fallout of Arthur’s parents’ divorce in a beautifully impervious romance. As the story unfolds, the connections between the characters are disclosed, though Green thankfully doesn’t leave the climax to rely on these intertwined relationships. Instead, he lets the stories simply happen, the contrasts develop and the tragedy hit with maximum impact through a devastating series of events. Snow Angels isn’t Green’s best but his eye for crisp scenic realism and his unwavering ability to get such raw honesty from his actors are always hard at work, presenting an irrefutable case that this is his forte. Green doesn’t usually shy away from DVD commentaries but he does here. In fact, there aren’t any special features included, leaving me to wonder if the success of Pineapple Express prevented him from fulfilling his duties. Regardless, anything would have been appreciated to help give this film the confidence and support it deserved. (Warner Independent)