The Ice Storm

book by Rick Moody

The Ice Storm is a 1997 drama film, set at Thanksgiving 1973 during a fictional ice storm, featuring two dysfunctional suburban Connecticut families trying to deal with tumultuous political and social changes of the early 1970s, and their escapism through alcohol, adultery, and sexual experimentation.

Directed by Ang Lee. Written by Rick Moody and James Schamus, based on Moody's eponymous novel.
The American Dream was over. But the hangover was just beginning. (taglines)

Ben Hood edit

  • [to Elena] The only big fight we've had in years is about whether to go back into couples therapy.
  • [to Paul] On the self-abuse front - and this is important - I don't think it's advisable to do it in the shower. It wastes water and electricity and because we all expect you to be doing it there in any case. And, not on... under the linen... Well... Anyway, if you're worried about anything at all, just feel free to ask and we'll look it up.
  • Well, that's the whole point of the holidays, Paul. So you and your sister can mope around the house, and your mother and I can wait on your hand and foot, while the two of you occasionally grunt for more food from behind the hair in your faces. Believe it or not, we actually enjoy it.

Paul Hood edit

  • [voiceover] In issue 141 of the Fantastic Four, published in November, 1973, Reed Richards had to use his anti-matter weapon on his own son, who Aannihilus has turn into the Human Atom Bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four, because they weren't like other superheroes. They were more like a family. And the more power they had, the more harm they could do to each other without even knowing it. That was the meaning of the Fantastic Four: that a family is like your own personal anti-matter. Your family is the void you emerge from, and the place you return to when you die. And that's the paradox - the closer you're drawn back in, the deeper into the void you go.
  • [voiceover] To find yourself in the negative zone, as the Fantastic Four often do, means all every day assumptions are inverted. Even the invisible girl herself becomes visible and so she loses the last semblance of her power. It seems to me that everyone exists partially on a negative zone level, some people more than others. In your life, it's kind of like you dip in and out of it, a place where things don't quite work out the way they should. But for some people, the negative zone tempts them. And they end up going in, going in all the way.
  • [voiceover] When you think about it, it's not easy to keep from just wandering out of life. It's like someone's always leaving the door open to the next world, and if you aren't paying attention you could just walk through it, and then you've died. That's why in your dreams it's like you're standing in that doorway... and the dying people and the newborn people pass by you... and brush up against you as they come in and out of the world during the night. You get spun around, and in the morning... it takes a while to find your way back into the world.

Janey Carver edit

  • Mikey's been out of it since the day he was born.

Wendy Hood edit

  • I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

Mikey Carver edit

  • Because of molecules we are connected to the outside world from our bodies. Like when you smell things, because when you smell a smell it's not really a smell, it's a part of the object that has come off of it, molecules. So when you smell something bad, it's like in a way you're eating it. This is why you should not really smell things, in the same way that you don't eat everything in the world around you because as a smell, it gets inside of you. So the next time you go into the bathroom after someone else has been there, remember what kinds of molecules you are in fact eating.

Dialogue edit

[Wendy says grace at Thanksgiving dinner.]
Wendy Hood: Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands. And stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.
Ben Hood: Jesus! Enough, alright? Paul… roll?

Ben Hood: We were golfing. You know, golfing, to me, is something I'm supposed to enjoy. And I was on the goddamn golf team in college, so it's something one would assume I'd do well. I used to do well. But basically, these days, golfing for me is like hoeing... or plowing. It's like farming. And George Clair has obviously, in the mere two years since he's been with the firm, he's obviously been taking secret lessons with a golf pro. And I bet the entirety of his disposable income has been dedicated to humiliating me on the golf course. That guy talks nonstop throughout the entirety of the misery of the miserable 18 holes...
Janey Carver: Ben.
Ben Hood: On topics that are the supposed domain of my department.
Janey Carver: Ben.
Ben Hood: Yeah?
Janey Carver: You're boring me. I have a husband. I don't particularly feel the need for another.
Ben Hood: You have a point there. That's a very good point. We're having an affair. Right. An explicitly sexual relationship. Your needs, my needs. You're absolutely right.
Janey Carver: You better get dressed. The boys will be home soon.
Ben Hood: Gotcha.
[they both get out of bed]

Philip Edwards: Sometimes the shepherd needs the comfort of the sheep.
Elena Hood: I'm going to try hard not to understand the implications of that.

Philip Edwards: Perhaps you find in books what I try to find in people.
Elena Hood: That sounds vaguely like an insult.

Paul Hood: I've been thinking, Francis. You are one drug-addled, elitist freak. And when the revolution comes I do not want to be lined up with you and shot because you're fucking ripe for political reeducation. You know, like in the fields.
Francis Davenport: Let me enlighten you about something here. You and I exist on opposite sides of a great existential divide, that being your pathetic virginity on the one hand and my astonishing number of sexual conquests on the other. You're simply jealous.

Sandy Carver: Where are you going?
Mikey Carver: Out.
Sandy Carver: Its freezing!
Mikey Carver: Yeah
Sandy Carver: Then why are you going?
Mikey Carver: When it's freezing...because it means the molecules aren't moving, so when you breath, there's nothing in the air, you know, you breathe into your body, the molecules have stopped, it's clean.

Ben Hood: [Janey hands drink to Ben] Thanks. You having one?
Janey Carver: In a bit.
Ben Hood: [he leans his head onto Janey] You know, I think Elena might suspect something. Maybe, it's all for the better, you know? [he starts unbuttoning his shirt] Yesterday at dinner, she - Well, she didn't say anything. Has she acted funny to you? Have you noticed anything? [he takes his shirt off]
Janey Carver: Have I noticed anything?
Ben Hood: Mmm.
Janey Carver: I'm not married to her, Benjamin. You are. I think you've probably a better vantage point from which to observe her.
Ben Hood: Yeah, but... I've been working a lot lately and - No, that's not it. I... I guess maybe we're just on the verge of... saying something. Saying something to each other. On the verge.

Taglines edit

  • The American Dream was over. But the hangover was just beginning.
  • It was 1973, and the climate was changing.

Partial cast edit

External links edit

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