Snow Angels is one of the better 2008 movies, and frankly I don’t quite see how someone could think something like Frozen River compares favorably.  Granted, this David Gordon Green movie is unlike Courtney Hunt’s in many ways.  But they both look at a small town in the north and share similar themes of a female trying to make a life for her child with a good-for-nothing husband, and the awkwardness of adolescence, and neither is particularly upbeat.  Snow Angels, though, doesn’t shy away from plot, brings some interesting characters to the table, and seems to have a more textured tone.

Plus the cast is fun.  Sam Rockwell stands out as Kate Beckinsale’s somewhat deranged ex-husband.  I’m not entirely sure what it says about you as a person when you are the go to guy for “somewhat deranged,” but more power to you, Mr. Rockwell.  Amy Sedaris shows up in the best friend role, but the character is actually given some meaning.  And Olivia Thirlby gets to play a cute girl next door type, pretty much guaranteeing a Golden Grouch seal of approval.

While not necessarily being a must-see movie, Snow Angels helps serve as a reminder that no matter how blah the year’s Oscar crop was, there were more interesting movies around, you just might have to dig a little.

Four Stars

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