21 December 2009

Movies for the Winter

Happy Winter Solstice!  DC is celebrating with a coating of lovely snow and the welcome closure of the Federal Government.

Washington, DC - December 19, 2009

Photo from My White Shirt

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas and cold-weather movies.  Sadly, though, cinema often gets winter very, very wrong.  My mother's biggest annoyance is the use of fake snow in movies (Father of the Bride is a classic offender).  How can we blame the California-based filmmakers for assuming that cold weather either means just that - cold, dry weather - or pretty, white, idyllic snow?

Egregious use of fake, fluffy snow in Marley and Me

What about the slush?  The sad, prickly ground that's been frozen for months?  The ugly, pilled hats and gloves, the mud, the salt stains on your car, the feeling that warmth and growth might not come back this year?  The cold is distracting and pervasive.  Our lives are impacted in more ways than just putting on a heavier coat and hat (ahem, Ally McBeal...that was NOT Boston.)  Thus it's nice when directors are able to really convey a sense of authentic cold (while telling a good story, of course.)

Here are some of my favorites. 

All the Real Girls (David Gordon Green, 2003)

Beautiful Girls (Ted Demme, 1996)

Fargo (Joel Coen, 1996)

Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)

Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990)

Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie, 2007)

Little Women (Gillian Armstrong, 1994)

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987)

The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Snow Angels (David Gordon Green, 2007)

Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, 2000)

Funny that many of these are about the middle to lower classes.   Because if you had enough money, you'd clearly move somewhere with nicer weather, right?

In any event, what have I missed?  Please weigh in!

1 comment:

zhhooper said...

Myth of Fingerprints, Metropolitan, the Ice Storm


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