A humble gem, Snow Angels kept me on edge for 110 minutes. The cast is an odd combo. Many of the actors are known for their roles in large films but have shined in indie films.
Annie (Kate Beckinsale) and Glenn (Sam Rockwell) are an estranged couple. Factors contributing to the estrangement: Glenn's drinking, Glenn's inability to hold down a job, Glenn's attempted suicide, Glenn's born-again preaching. He wants to see more of their daughter, but Annie is afraid he is still emotionally unstable. Their relationship is tense and volatile and, at times, familiar and close. Set in the '70s, the cinematography captures the visuals and the feeling of the era. Shot as if you were in the room with the characters, you feel the discomfort churning in many of the scenes.
Arthur (Michael Angarano) steals the movie. This trombone-playing teen possesses je ne sais quoi. He's a busboy at a Chinese restaurant. There, he works with Annie, his former babysitter, and Barb (Amy Sedaris). (Side note: It was hard watching Sedaris in a dramatic role and not waiting to laugh, expecting her to make that Strangers with Candy face.) Arthur's parents are separating and he's trying to feel his way through his own frustration and loss of innocence and balance it against the excitement of being discovered by a cool and cute classmate.
This is just the background for this tragic story. A psychologically extreme movie, you get tension, conflict and some lovely moments. Recommended!
Director: David Gordon Green
Minutes: 110 minutes