Snow Cake Marc Evans

Snow Cake Marc Evans
Snow Cake is a delightful surprise not because it’s a good film but because watching it is as glorious and refreshing as winter’s thaw. In one of his woefully few leading roles, Alan Rickman is charmingly human and vulnerable as Alex Hughes, a man with a troubled past who finds himself in circumstances beyond his regular frame of reference after agreeing to let a spunky young teenage girl hitch a ride home to Wawa, ON. Meeting the girl’s mother, Linda, a highly functioning autistic woman, and her neighbour distracts Alex enough from his inner torment to allow him to begin seeing the simple wonders of living again. Sigourney Weaver is the obvious scene-stealer as Linda, a role she perfected via a year’s worth of research, according to cast interviews in the DVD special features, and her performance is also the most authentic and least pandering portrayal of a person living with autism ever likely committed to film. I’d be asking, "What happened to Weaver’s Oscar nomination?” was this not a film of an artistic calibre beyond such extravagance. Such a powerhouse performance makes it almost easy to overlook the brilliant subtlety in Carrie-Anne Moss’s turn as Alex’s love interest, Maggie. Most of the juiciest barbs of dialogue are reserved for one of the two women to fire at Alex — Maggie relishing his squirms and Lisa already engaged in her next fascination by the time he reacts. A late winter setting bathing the camera lens in the glow of sunlight glinting off of melting snow and the warm chill of an original score by Broken Social Scene beautifully capture the comforting essence of transformation through tender displacement. To solidify the shocking quality of Snow Cake, even the deleted scenes were a joy to watch and could easily have been included without marring this sleeper masterpiece. (Alliance Atlantis)