Death as a Means of Escape
Release Date: March 07, 2008
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell,
Olivia Thirlby, and Michael
Runtime: 106 minutes
Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
Director: David Gordon Green
Executive Producer: s a Means of Escape **
Producer: Dan Lindau, Paul Miller, Lisa
Muskat, and Cami Taylor
Writer: David Gordon Green
Address Comments To:Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Mark Gill, President
Warner Independent Pictures
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Set in Pennsylvania, the story surrounds love, life’s choices and its consequences. Annie, played by Kate Beckinsale, is a hard living single mother of one daughter and one disillusioned ex-husband (Sam Rockwell). Annie goes through hardship trying to raise her daughter as well as possible, working seemingly unending hours as a waitress, but somehow find some degree of self-fulfillment. Though Annie seems a victim to circumstance, the audience soon learns that she is not without sin and her character is not without fault. Many contingencies of her current situation are products of her own warped sense of reason. Her ex-husband, Glenn, drowns his distress in alcohol, and will often harass Annie from outside her home.
Then, tragedy strikes the community and an already dysfunctional household when the daughter of the formerly married couple drowns in a nearby lake. Glenn and Annie have more similarities than differences, and this situational irony comes to a screeching halt as the two “free” themselves of guilt and shame.
This story unfolds before the eyes of a troubled teenaged, Arthur (Michael Angarano). Arthur painstakingly observes Annie, his childhood babysitter, amidst indescribable pain and heartache. He sees his own mother deeply hurting and missing love, yet habitually rejecting his father’s cry for a second chance. She encourages her son to “feel” and avoid suppression because it leads to built-up resentment and ultimate unhappiness. As a result, Arthur profits from the mistakes of the adults surrounding him. In many ways, Arthur lives the life that all the other characters desire, a life of happiness, love and contentment.
SNOW ANGELS is well done film by young director David Gordon Greene. It was a new direction for him as well as Kate Beckinsale. Previously, Greene has found successful in comedies and light-hearted stories. SNOW ANGELS unexpectedly became his baby after adapting the well-known novel by Stewart O’Nan to the screen. Kate, on the other hand, has found a place in the world of genre films, but feels this role is every actor’s dream. She seizes the opportunity, through this Warner Independent project, to show her “acting chops.” This beautiful British transplant does a fabulous job and takes a well-considered risk on this movie.
Though well done, SNOW ANGELS discusses and depicts some inappropriate and controversial subjects that may require some adult discretion. Excessive profanities, adulterous situations, self-mutilation, murder, and suicide are just some of the situations to which the movie exposes the viewer. Murder and suicide as means of escape from guilt and shame exists as a theme depicted, which is incongruent with biblical teaching. Contrastly, several scenes positively illustrate Christianity through the character of Glenn, who finds his only source of peace in Christ. His character expresses an incredible message of forgiveness, as he forgives the new man in his ex-wife’s life. This positive message, however, is then attached to the unbiblical theme of self-mutilation as a means of atonement and restitution for sin, which contradicts the Word of God.
Though well done, SNOW ANGELS discusses and depicts some inappropriate and controversial subjects that require some discretion. Excessive profanities, adulterous situations, self-mutilation, murder, and suicide are just some of the situations to which the film exposes the viewer. Murder and suicide as a means of escape from guilt and shame exists as a theme depicted, which is incongruent with biblical teaching. In contrast, several scenes positively illustrate Christianity through the character of Glenn, who finds his only source of peace in Christ. Thus, the movie’s worldview is mixed, with positive and negative elements.