Friday, October 03, 2008

Snow Angels

Snow Angels (David Gordon Green, 2008) [9]
As a director, David Gordon Green has always been more about images and atmosphere than story. Snow Angels is really the first film of his that put story and characters in the forefront, and it works. What could have easily teetered into overblown melodrama or a disjointed mess, with Green's direction becomes a dark yet captivating film. The film tells two story lines, one of a teenage boy's (Michael Angaran0) family and love life, the other of his former babysitter (Kate Beckinsdale) and her estranged husband (Sam Rockwell). The two plots converge with a tragic event that propel the film to an even more tragic end. This really is a character drama and the performances, especially those of Beckinsdale and Rockwell, are exceptional. They're both deeply flawed characters, likable on one level, unlikeable on another. They could have very easily slipped into over the top performances but Green and his actors know how to handle the material. This focus on story and character doesn't repress the atmospheric touches of the film, as they help to underline each character and their emotional impact to the viewer. Some could say the story lines as too disjointed but I don't think that's really important in the overall scheme of the film. They are used to paint a broader picture, not just of the lives of these characters but as a mood for the film. The film's visual touch accents the bleak nature of it by capturing the nuances of the winter setting. Green does everything right in getting the best out of the actors' performances and his stylistic touches create a cold, dreary setting that gets the most emotional impact out of the story.

No comments: