Snow Cake

7.41 h 52 min2006NR
A man who is traumatized by a car accident flourishes a friendship with a high-functioning autistic woman.
Marc Evans
Alan RickmanSigourney WeaverCarrie Anne Moss
English [CC]
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4.6 out of 5 stars

462 global ratings

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PATReviewed in the United States on August 5, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A MUST watch for those who love to be lost in a story!
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Alan Rickman was my celebrity crush and this movie shows exactly why. So well acted and beautifully presented. Rickman portrays a man who has suffered the same type of tragic loss twice in his life. The 2nd time, which is the springboard event for this film, is during a car wreck in which his passenger does not survive. A decent man, wracked with survivor guilt, Rickman's character goes to the passengers mother's home to connect and perhaps find some level of absolution.

Surprise. Mother is a high-functioning autistic. Rickman's character now has a whole other level of emotional confusion with which to define, cope and include. Sigourney Weaver did an amazing job in this well-researched role. The story, to be clear, is about Rickman's character, not autism. But it is through this vehicle that the character's interactions reveal each other's internal struggles and capabilities to overcome. The film has funny moments, tragic moments, romantic moments and is all-around totally engaging. Lovely Canadian winter scenery sets a background that allows the characters to be prominent throughout the film.

This film was not a box-office smash. I do not know if it even had a broad release at any time. But it is one of Rickman's most beautiful character portrayals, putting on display his vast talent to portray deep emotional communication in his eyes and body language. Weavers performance was of a depth I did not know she possessed, having only seen her previously in more "block-buster" type movie roles in which her characters are far more one-dimensional. I highly, highly recommend curling up with some hot chocolate on a quiet night and getting lost in the beauty of this story.

And - "Snow cake" is revealed at the end :)
13 people found this helpful
Patrick SelitrennyReviewed in the United States on February 1, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
The science of forgiveness... and understanding.
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Let me say, just up front, that when I watched this on television I was almost compelled to switch channels.

I simply don't like romantic or sentimental (tear-jerking) movies.

But it was a slow night, nothing else to watch, except the same-o, same-o cop drama here and there,... so I braced myself for a boring and well-planned travel through sentimental-land, with all the buttons pushed at the right time, to force you to squeeze your tear ducts in your eyes.

Mind you, I like everything that has Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver or Carrie-Anne Moss, in it, but I was wondering why these three would congregate to make a "romantic drama".

At first, at the opening of the movie (a bit slow-paced for my taste), nothing new on the western horizon. Nice landscape, a diner and two odd characters meeting (one of them being Alan Rickman). Location? Canada. Season? Well, you may have guessed by the title, that it might be winter. Snow? Yes.

A brief conversation, or better said, monologue of the two characters ensues. So far, so good.

One might think at this point that that's it. Older man meets much younger woman and a pathetic story gets told once again. Wrong!

What happens next, within the ten minute rule of movie-land (if nothing happens within a ten minute span, you can leave the theater or the room and switch off the TV). Well, as I was about to do so, lo and behold, Bang! Big Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang!

A car crash! In a movie like this? Yes. A huge truck rams the man's car and this is the actual beginning of the picture.

The rest unfolds while we accompany the man's ordeal through it all.

I won't reveal what happens next because that's the part you absolutely have to watch for yourselves, and anything further would reveal the entire mystery of the plot. Yes, because the man has a secret, a terrible secret he is trying to keep at any cost.

Suffice it to say that I as dumb as a bell. I missed it when showing in the theaters in 2006 and I could kick myself for this. How could I have missed a tiny gem like this? Then I remembered that I even missed "Truly, Madly, Deeply" many years before and had the same revelation on TV afterward. That teaches you only one thing. One never really learns from his own mistakes, at least not when one is as lazy and as jaded as I am...

Let me just say that if you think to have known Sigourney Weaver as an actress before, well, think again... If you haven't seen her work in this movie, you simply cannot appreciate the great professional talent she has and the true gamut she can span when allowed to do so.

Of course, she already revealed herself as a very skillful comedian in "Galaxy Quest" (also co-starring with Alan Rickman), but here she hits the high note of her entire career, blasting all the crystals in the house.

She portrays and reproduces an autistic woman in every detail. So much so, that at times it becomes disturbing. It must have been the most difficult role she ever played. I am thinking about the research she had to undertake in order to slip in her role. I was astonished and very pleasantly surprised by her.

Carrie-Anne Moss, is the romantic interest of Alan Rickman in this movie and one may believe that this is it... Again wrong! The woman can sparkle with just a few nuances, without ever stealing the show, but just because of this, she becomes an important and integral figure to the plot, without whom the outcome would be difficult to foresee. Her harsh traits, so well known in the "Matrix" movies, can reveal an astonishing feminine beauty, as well as a smile and a laughter that can carry you away to seventh heaven.

Alan Rickman, the face of stone, or is it? I love him in everything he does. His wry, slashing, straight-face humor is simply unique and can be admired in so many movies. In "Snow Cake" he pushes the envelope further, always with very subtle touches, just like a few twitches of the eyes, a dismissing raising of an eyebrow, a touch of disappointment with the corner of the mouth. One has to closely watch the mechanics of his face to understand what a refined actor this man is.

What can I say of Emily Hampshire, except maybe that she will make a terrific career for herself along the years? It is not easy to be the center of a movie without being in it throughout the story. Yet, this is exactly what she manages to do. Her looks, the way she played her role, the entire aura that she manages to broadly paint before our own eyes of who she is and what she does, cannot so simply be forgotten. In fact, her ghost image keeps on coming back in our own minds every time someone mentions her. It's just like saying: "Don't think Elephant!" and keeping seeing the elephant in our minds.

Of course much credit goes to the casting of this movie. All characters must have been painstakingly be chosen and hand picked. But especially the role that Emily Hampshire had to cover, must have had that special attention, because if this role fails, the entire movie's construct falls apart and crashes miserably.

I must also mention the screenplay and the editing of this movie, without which we would not be sitting here, me writing this, and you reading it. The screenplay must have been very special when handed to the actors, since they seem all so very comfortable with it (even though I realize that it must have been quite a study). The editing was made in such a way as never to bore the audience with useless details, but rather build story upon story, upon story, just to form a flowing river of information one can easily digest and admire.

The director Marc Evans, must have had a hell of a time to coordinate the entire action and make sense of it all, but one can tell that he had confidence with the subject and manages to deliver a finished product that is a tiny masterpiece.

I titled my review "The science of forgiveness... and understanding." and indeed that's the juice of this movie. It is much less a love story, than a human story, a story of human destinies clashing, bumping, crashing, landing, walking and ultimately explaining themselves through the art, or if you will, science of forgiveness and understanding. A lesson and a story we can all identify ourselves with.

OK. Now that I have spent my time spending my Summa Cum Laude to these gifted actors and actresses, as well to all the off-screen personnel, I can only tell you one thing, if you think you know a movie by the title, or because you have read about it, well, think again. One must watch them before being able to judge them. Some may even reveal themselves as gems of movie making.

"Snow Cake" can certainly be considered one of them.

Now to the DVD. I own both the UK pressed and the US version of this and I must say that both are worth owning. Despite the slight differences in color resolution and the obvious running length that varies due to the different PAL and NTSC frame speeds, nothing else can be said that would prevent you to buy this movie. The sound on both is crystal clear, and for once, may I add, you are not overwhelmed by intruding and pervasive music from wall to wall.
There is music, but it is kept at a reasonable volume and not constant throughout the picture. For my understanding, this is a sure buy.
10 people found this helpful
ladycplumReviewed in the United States on December 1, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and everything in between
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One of the very few movies to concentrate on how someone with autism functions as an adult. Sigourney Weaver astounds in the role of Linda, switching from childlike innocence to blunt honesty, from freaking out during normal situations to offering surprisingly lucid words of wisdom, it's a travesty she was not nominated for an Oscar for her performance. Equally amazing is the, well ALWAYS amazing, Alan Rickman, another performance that was more than worthy of an Oscar. The character of Alex invokes such an amazing amount of pathos as we are taken through his journey through the eyes of Linda, Maggie, Vivienne, and the local townspeople. Carrie Moss does another fine turn in her role, almost a gypsy-like woman in a small's no wonder Alex makes his assumptions about her based on what Linda had told him! It's also interesting to see the well-meaning yet almost embarrassing platitudes offered up to Linda throughout the film. All in all, this movie is an underrated, underappreciated gem that deserved far more attention than it did, headed up by two phenomenal performances that, IMNSHO, should have been nominated for just about every major award possible.
3 people found this helpful
K. StoudtReviewed in the United States on February 29, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
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HOT = Alan Rickman is my favorite actor for more reasons than there is space to write. Having said that, if you have never heard of him, I can promise you that you will be amazed. It must have something to do with his connection in aiding autism awareness. His character has quite alot of baggage, but he still manages to care. Thoughts & Deeds are essential.
ICE = Sigourney Weaver's performance in this film is astounding. She makes a real connection by disconnecting. You know that feeling you get when ice stays on your tongue too long? It burns! That's how it is watching her. Cold & hot all at the same time.
SCREAM = There are many screams in this film and not all audible. You'll understand if you buy it (or rent it). My internal screaming was what grabbed me with this film. I found myself wrenching in moments of their turmoil & sadness. Then, in the next scene, laughing & elated by the true interaction these actors brought to us through fantastic writing & direction.
2 people found this helpful
Rather be at the BeachReviewed in the United States on October 19, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Snow Cake
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Sigourney Weaver plays Linda, an autistic woman who is the mother of Emily, a free spirited young woman. Alex (who is played brilliantly by Alan Rickman) has just gotten out of prison and gives a ride to Emily when they are hit by a truck and Emily is killed. Alex feels a personal responsibility to tell Linda himself. It is such a touching scene when Alex and Linda meet, because Alex sees how vulnerable she is beneath her lack of emotion. Carrie Anne Moss nails her portrayal of Maggie, the next-door neighbor.

I think I could watch any movie that includes Alan Rickman and/or Sigourney Weaver. They elevate any movie they are in. This film is fascinating because you can see how autism affects the daily life of someone and the people around them. I highly recommend it.
One person found this helpful
Lady of the FoothillsReviewed in the United States on April 1, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great acting, great story line!
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Found this one just browsing. So surprised I had not heard of it earlier. Excellent acting by Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver! Weaver provides an incredibly real presentation of a high functioning, verbal autistic adult. Acting by Rickman could not be better. GREAT movie!
One person found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on August 23, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
A movie to feed the mind and the soul
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I shall not go into an extensive review, as others who have commented have done a far more eloquent job of it than I could. But this is a movie that is worth watching more than once, there are little nuances that one picks up each time it is viewed. The casting was marvelous and the end, well...let's just say that the end "speaks".

As for the DVD itself, I do not know if it was this particular DVD or the pressing of the DVD but the first chapter the voices were out off sync with the visuals. I at first thought that this might be something that the director cooked up as an additional commentary as the second chapter was in sync. It turns out that this DVD does not play well with Blu-Ray players; when I switched it over to a DVD player the audio and visual were both in perfect sync. I've never had this issue before; but, I usually watch DVD's on one of my DVD players...though all of those had DVD's already loaded and bookmarked for watching.
One person found this helpful
Kerry KayReviewed in the United States on April 14, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Quiet, powerful, unbelievably moving
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I'm a fan of movies - the good, the bad, the indifferent and the simply awful (sometimes). Yet, every now and again I come across a film that moves me immeasurably, even when I don't want to be.

Snow Cake is not a big, loud, 'Hollywood' movie but Alan Rickman's portrayal of Alex Hughes, one of those lonely, complex people many of us are too busy to notice, is outstanding enough to have warranted an Oscar nomination, at least. Sigourney Weaver is heartbreaking as Linda, a high-functioning autistic woman whose hitch-hiking daughter, Vivienne, thumbed a ride from the reclusive Hughes.

I'm not ashamed to say I'm a HUGE Rickman fan so I've seen almost everything he's done, except maybe his very early TV stuff. Yet, when I'd read that he was to do Snow Cake, I almost didn't see it because I didn't know anything about autism and the setting (snow everywhere) wasn't my cup of tea. Well, folks, I've gotta tell ya, I've rented and watched this movie so many times that I finally gave in and bought the DVD for myself. The acting was just so powerful, even from the 'minor' characters played by Carrie Ann Moss or Callum Keith Rennie.

If you don't like people much, or have never wondered what makes a person tick, this movie probably isn't your cup of tea. If, however, you like to people-watch and are a student of the human psyche, then watch Snow Cake - and, oh yeah, keep a box of Kleenex close by. Don't say I didn't warn you!
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