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The Ice Harvest in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Ice Harvest

John Cusack • Billy Bob Thornton • Connie Neilsen
DIRECTOR: Harold Ramis

Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack THE CONCEPT:
In this dark comedy, it’s Christmas Eve and Charlie (Cusack), an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, Kansas, and his associate Vic (Thornton) have just successfully embezzled $2.1 million, but the evening won’t turn out like they planned…

U.S. RELEASE: November 23 2005, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“I said to my agent, ‘I think it’s time for a dark, existential, funny Film Noir. Let’s find one!’ I never know what I’m going to do until I see it, and with this one the writing was great. I don’t know that they thought they were writing a classic film noir as they were writing it.”

“Billy Bob is great. I really love working with him. He’ll go anywhere, do anything. There’s nothing he wouldn’t try on a movie set. The freedom of knowing somebody’s going to go with you anywhere you want to go [is great]. And he’s so funny and so talented, so sensitive, such a smart man.”

“It’s a well-written script. That always comes first for me. I have a lot of respect for Harold; he’s one of my heroes in the comedy world. And John is one of my favorites; I love working with him. Out of all the actors I’ve worked with, the most generous relationship I’ve probably had is with John. He’s always willing to go wherever you want to. If you want to improvise he’s right there with you. Out of all the actors I’ve worked with, he’s probably the best at it.”

CONNIE NIELSEN on playing the femme fatale:
“To be sexy is really boring. When you actually take your time to show the details of how you toy with a guy, that’s what makes it fun - to have a sense of humor about her.”

“John and I had a bit of a relationship. We’d never worked together, except as actors for one day. I was cut from High Fidelity. I’m on the DVD as John’s father. His father appears to him in a fantasy moment, and that was me.”

“Harold is a great director, an amazingly bright man. And he’s been around a lot of these seminal things in comedy for a long time. Animal House, Second City Television, those were actually groundbreaking to me in terms of thinking of comedy. These were subversive and intelligent, counterculture and disgusting, yet sophisticated.”

NIELSEN on which femme fatales she borrowed from:
“I watched Lauren Bacall, just for a specifically physical thing, because I felt she had that thing which she was doing with her eyes, where she was looking up underneath the lashes, which was done a lot in the Forties and Fifties. But then I also put some Jessica Rabbit in there too. I thought it was fun to show her affecting that she’s hurt; or affecting neediness. And I mean affecting, because she’s not really feeling any of these things. Just having the chance to do that double play is fun for an actor.”

CUSACK on his favorite Film Noirs:
The Killers I thought was great. Double Indemnity, Chinatown, The Big Sleep, there are so many great ones.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #664, December 2005 cover

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