Winter 2007 Edge series
Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 4:00pm
Directed by Marc Evans
Starring Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Hampshire
Rated NR ·
An intimate drama about the relationship between an autistic woman and a man recovering from a traumatic car accident, Snow Cake premiered at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival, where it had the honour of being the opening night film.
Set in an unnamed Canadian town (it was filmed in Wawa, Ontario), Snow Cake unfolds gently as it introduces its quirky, flawed protagonists. Alex (Alan Rickman, Sense and Sensibility) is a quiet, sullen man practically collapsing under the weight of existence, who one day offers a ride to Vivienne (Emily Hampshire, Twist), an innocent and sociable hitchhiker.
Through no fault of his own, Alex has a freak accident that claims Vivienne’s life but leaves Alex virtually unscathed. Overcome with guilt and remorse, he sets out to find Vivienne’s mother, Linda (Sigourney Weaver, The Ice Storm), who turns out to be an autistic woman lacking in social skills who communicates by keenly observing the people around her. Staying with Linda for a few days, Alex also meets Linda’s stunning neighbour Maggie (Carrie-Anne Moss, Memento), an estranged soul who can seemingly fit in anywhere.
As their lives begin to intertwine, issues from the past come to light, forcing all three to confront their respective demons and cope with the hands they have been dealt. This is an elegant and unflinching film that explores the sadder side of humanity. Gracefully performed by a gifted cast, Snow Cake impressively conveys the emotional and physical claustrophobia that pervades a lonely — and possibly redemptive — landscape.