Friday, August 22, 2008

Gluten-Free Movie Recommendation: Snow Cake

Dan and I rented the film "Snow Cake" last week and were charmed enough to watch it twice. It was really a treat to watch a movie with smart writing, world-class acting and an intelligent and thoughtful plot-line. And it was gluten-free for added charm!

Alan Rickman plays a morose man, Alex Hughes, who is driving across Canada for an important meeting, subject unknown until the end of the film. He stops at a diner for a meal where Vivienne (played by Emily Hampshire) a 20-ish free spirit with purple hair and Goth makeup, attaches herself to him like a limpet and he ends up reluctantly offering to give her a ride to her hometown of Wawa, Ontario. They are blindsided by a tractor trailer as they leave a gift shop and the car is totaled. Alex stumbles out of the crash with minor injuries, but Vivienne is dead.

Reeling from shock, Alex decides to explain the crash in person to Vivienne's mother, Linda (Sigourney Weaver), whom we quickly find out is autistic. The rest of the film shows how the characters adjust to Vivienne's death in the days leading up to her memorial service. Linda eats gluten-free, and hearing Alex proffer snacks at the post-funeral gathering at Linda's house is just hilarious.

Snow Cake came out in 2006 as an independent film, so you may not have seen it at your local cinema, but be sure to check out at the video store or library. The film is unrated, but is geared for an adult audience with some strong language, bedroom scenes and of course, a traumatic accident right at the get-go, so it probably would have received a R-rating.

The screenwriter, Angela Pell, has an autistic son and her scenes and dialogue between Alex and Linda are so interesting, not to mention some of shots depicting Linda's version of events. I picked out the film because I am a huge Rickman fan and would pay to hear that velvet baritone say any language...but the entire cast is brilliant and the plot is so intriguing. Highly recommended.

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