Was RAMA caught out in the ice? Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Great performances, average movie, that’s basically what you can take away from THIN ICE, which wants to be taken seriously as a Midwestern con flick with a bit of Coens’ Fargo feel to it but the way it reveals itself at the end is so abrupt and hasty, it jams itself down the audience’s throat and it doesn’t care whether or not the audience is fully prepared for it just yet. Interesting concept, a con film through the eyes of the marked man, but interesting at best is what this film would have to settle for…
THIN ICE (an Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival) is a dark comedy about a small time insurance agent (Greg Kinnear) looking for a way to jump-start his business, reunite with his estranged wife (Lea Thompson) and escape the frigid Wisconsin weather. This self-proclaimed master of spin believes that salesmanship is all about selling a story — all he needs is a sucker willing to buy it. He hits pay dirt with a lonely retired farmer (Alan Arkin) who is sitting on something much bigger than an insurance commission. However, his attempt to con the old man spins out of control when a nosy, unstable locksmith’s (Billy Crudup) temper dramatically ups the stakes trapping him in a madcap spiral of deceit and peril.
Greg Kinnear is a fantastic actor, I think I find myself saying that about all of his previous performances. There are certain occupations out there that are not liked by general public, lawyers and insurance agents are examples, and Kinnear plays an agent who’s also a compulsive liar and he sees a golden opportunity that could be used to his advantage. The story is basically told through his perspective, his character, Mickey, is not necessarily a protagonist but then again, the story doesn’t actually have a protagonist to root for, because even the ones that get away with the prize don’t grant themselves something likeable, and because Micky finds himself digging deeper and deeper into problems with every unwise choice he makes, part of you would feel a bit sorry for the fella.
As I said earlier, THIN ICE sorta takes style from Coen Bros’ crime drama/thriller/comedy, even Mickey reminds me of Michael Stuhlbarg’s character in A Serious Man, situations for them just worsen, no matter what they do, there’d be times when they think they’ve got it all figured out but they actually don’t.
One credit I’d give THIN ICE is that unless somebody tells you that it’s a con film, you probably wouldn’t have guessed it from the get-go but halfway trough the film, you can kinda start sensing something’s off and start piecing it together.
I’m a tropical boy, so I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must’ve been for Arkin, Kinnear, and Crudup to be out there in dead winter, I’d freeze my ass off and wouldn’t be able to say my lines correctly.
I think the film was poorly edited and it could’ve used a more chilling score.
Crudup is a treat to watch here because his character is unpredictable, unstable, psycho scary and because of that he also comes off funny, I’ve never seen Crudup this way on screen and so to see him do it so well, is refreshing, definitely not an actor you’d underestimate.
Perhaps if the writers, the Sprechers, where to give Mickey more depth, thus allowing Kinnear to showcase more. That would certainly compensate for everything else that’s lackluster about THIN ICE.
GRADE: 2 out of 5
Please Leave A Comment-