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THE ICE STORM

The Great Gatsby was such an overblown hot mess that I often found myself drifting off into personal thoughts during the show.

While Jay-Z blasted on the soundtrack and flappers danced hip-hop Charleston, I was all like did I leave the iron on? and his suit isn’t really all that pink.

I also tend to play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game when a movie starts to disappoint.  I started with actor Tobey Maguire and branched on to the realization of something interesting.

It seems that after Ang Lee directed The Ice Storm, his key cast went on to star in at least one movie based on classic literature.  Ok, work with me here.

I don’t really have an elaborite key-party conspiracy theory, but it is cool that Ang Lee did Sense and Sensibility and then adapted Rick Moody’s modern literacy classic The Ice Storm, whose cast went on to do the following adaptations…

TOBEY MACGUIRE

Seen shortly after as “The Hitchhiker” in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and then of course, owned the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for a trilogy of Sam Rami films (which you could argue is literature of a different kind).  His portrayal of Nick Carraway in  The Great Gatsby is actually really good and he’s well cast in the role.  It’s one of the few shining beacon of lights in the film (not including the actual green shining beacon of light).

KEVIN KLINE
The Julliard trained actor is no stranger to classic characters from classic novels, notably on Broadway in his earlier career choices.  Post-Ice Storm he returned to Shakespeare in the role of Nick Bottom in 1999’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as Jaques in As You Like It. 

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Just after her memorable Femme Fatale in Ice Storm, she performed the evil queen role in the very odd, but recommended Snow White: A Tale of Terror.   
CHRISTINA RICCI 
Also appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but other literary classic adaptations have included Tim Burton’s twisted Sleepy Hollow and most recently the period drama Bel Ami.

 Sorry, but Ed Wood’s I Woke Up Early the Day I Died doesn’t count as classic literature.

JOAN ALLEN
Though she made a pre-Ice appearance in Ethan Frome it’s The Mists of Avalon I’d recommend.   She plays Morgause, the sister of Morgan le Fay in many Arthurian legends.  The miniseries was originally done for TNT and was a precursor to the now popular genre.
ELIJAH WOOD
Like Ricci, he was midway between awkward child-stardom around the time of Ice.  Before it he had done The Adventures of Huck Finn for Disney, but immediately after working with Ang Lee, he performed as the Artful Dodger in a television adaptation of Oliver Twist.  His biggest role came a little later as Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, followed by the adaptation of Everything is Illuminated and last year’s miniseries Treasure Island.

Speaking of adaptations, be sure to catch him in an amazing performance as Frank, the twisted serial killer the Maniac remake.

KATIE HOLMES (and DAVID KRUMHOLTZ)
Quickly becoming a Hollywood It-Girl, Holmes stared along side Tobey Maguire again in the big screen adaptation of Wonder Boys.  Kid character actor David Krumholtz’s contribution to literary adaptations – Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
One of my all time favorite movies, THE ICE STORM, debuts on Blu-ray this July 23rd for the first time from The Criterion Collection.

Read the novel by Rick Moody in good old-fashioned print from Back Bay Books.  Also available as an Audiobook from Audible.com.

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