Snow Cake

 
Autistic woman shows grieving adults how to live.
  • Review Date: September 10, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An ex-convict talks about his crime; an autistic woman models "living in the present" provincial townspeople try their best not to judge unusual behavior.

Violence

Early car accident is very jarring (crash, car flips, man emerges bloody and dazed, passenger is killed off screen); repeated, cryptic conversations about a man's prison term (he describes his crime later in the film); brief description of a man's son killed by a drunk driver.

Sex

Joke about "gay" executive; a couple of conversations about a woman presumed to be a prostitute (she's referred to as a "hooker"); some conversation about sex (when to have it); post-sex scene of couple lying in bed.

Language

At least five uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "hooker."

Consumerism

Diet Coke, McDonalds, Scrabble, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Brief wine drinking during a romantic dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be interested in this indie drama, which focuses on adults who have troubled pasts -- including a man just released from prison and a woman who has a few "gentleman callers." A third main character is a high-functioning autistic woman, whose behavior may prompt questions from younger viewers. A violent car crash early in the movie results in a passenger's death. There are some brief discussions of sex (nothing graphic) and a post-sex scene showing a couple in bed together. A few uses of "f--k" in anger.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Just released from prison, Alex (Alan Rickman) meets charmingly eccentric, purple-haired Vivienne (Emily Hampshire). An aspiring writer, Vivienne sees through Alex's tetchiness, even making him laugh briefly. But then a car accident (not Alex's fault) leaves her dead and him feeling emotionally liable. He heads off to Vivienne's house, where he meets her mother, Linda (Sigourney Weaver), a high-functioning autistic adult who stocks shelves in the local supermarket, loves jumping on her trampoline, and accepts Vivienne's death without question. Staying in town to help with the funeral arrangements, Alex comes to understand Linda's reaction. He also finds his own solace in Linda's neighbor, Maggie (Carrie-Anne Moss), a divorcee who's happy to have sex without commitment. When Alex realizes that Maggie is not, as Linda has asserted, a prostitute, he achieves another insight: Some ambiguities, which aren't understood by the black-or-white-thinking Linda, are worth savoring.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The movie's many clichés tend to overwhelm its more interesting questions about the pressures of social connections and conventions. With too much plinky piano music and a scene that purports to show Linda's point of view as she dances with the dead Vivienne against an imaginary white background, SNOW CAKE is at once too obvious and too earnest.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about autism's growing visibility in the media -- which has increased as more and more people are diagnosed. How does the movie portray a "high functioning" autistic adult? How is she different from other autistic TV and movie characters (Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, for example, or Sean Penn in I Am Sam)? How does the movie use her as a model of behavior for other damaged adults around her? What other messages does the movie send?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 27, 2007
DVD release date:September 11, 2007
Cast:Alan Rickman, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sigourney Weaver
Director:Marc Evans
Studio:IFC Entertainment
Genre:Drama
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:not rated

This review of Snow Cake was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bygirlsurfer82 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

One of my favorite movies ever

I loved this movie, definitely a make you think kind of movie. I wouldn't recommend it to children under..14ish because it might be boring to them. I loved it and just got the DVD for my birthday. Utterly amazing.
Teen, 14 years old Written byprettyinpink.sarah May 29, 2011
age 13+
 

This is a great movie!

I'm 14 and I totally loved this movie. It's a really great story and it's very touching. I only checked those things in "what should other families know about this movie" because I mean your 11 year old wouldn't be into it you know? 13 and up or even 12 and up is fine. Maturity level differs among different kids. The violent part is when there's a car crash in the beginning of the moving and a passenger dies. There is brief talk about sex and a scene after but nothing visual. They do swear when mad but only a few times throughout the movie. Consumerism they like go to McDonold's.... which isn't a big deal. Overall this is a totally amazing movie, it's one of my favorites absolutely. Everyone has their own taste in movies but if your kid is into this kind of stuff by all means let them watch it! It's nothing they can't handle.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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