The Iceman, with Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder & Ray Liotta. Director, Ariel Vromen. Another 1960’s, 70’s period piece, based on a true story. Irresistible to me, as the cast is chuck full of wonderful stars. Though I’m not a fan of organized crime movies & the gutter world it represents, this film was a tremendous success.
Shannon, last reviewed in Mud & Man of Steel, has one of the biggest heads I’ve ever seen on a human. Except for Mitt Romney. A gigantic cranium & one of the best talents that I currently enjoy. His portrayal of a stone cold killer is spot on & the lack of emotion is so emotional that it’s surprising, to say the least. At times, he seems larger than life, compared to the other actors. Then he seems to be normal as pie. It’s very odd. Physical comparisons is just something I do when watching a movie. In my quest to humanize the actors.
One notes, that while the characters are positioning themselves either killing each other, or being killed; it’s the period cars from the 70’s that seem to stand out. Perfect specimens of Lincolns, Cadillacs & others. It’s amazing.
Ryder steps up, just as much as her movie husband Shannon, as the penultimate New Jersey mother of the period. Her accent a little too heavy – but then, it’s a distinct way of speaking. For someone who doesn’t live in the northeast of the US, it’s noticeable. Even more so than a drawling southern accent. She’s a gifted actor & I’m glad she’s still kicking.
Though the film drips mafia, I have to say it is more of a character study of the hit man, than it is about racketeering & murder. Which is a good thing. One gets a bit tired of wise guys & their arrogant, insect-like attitudes.
I really did enjoy the movie. It moves along, like someone walking down the street. No pauses, except for a couple of emotional breakdowns which give the film context & the characters, depth. I recommend this film for viewing. One doesn’t ignore something that James Franco decides to insert himself in, with a cameo performance worthy of a mini-oscar.