Snow Angels

Rated 3.0

Writer-director David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Undertow) should at least be commended for getting out of his comfort zone with Snow Angels. Set in the wintry northeast, it concerns a murder-suicide and a missing 4-year-old girl and some adultery and at least two suffocated marriages. So, yes, it’s really depressing. In this relentlessly heavy situation, a courtship between Arthur (Michael Angarano) and Lila (Olivia Thirlby), though uncertain, is the only consolation. It’s also the freshest, most genuine part of the movie and probably what drew the filmmaker to this material in the first place. In fact, notwithstanding Amy Sedaris, who predictably comes on like a chunk of hail in a quiet snowfall, Green makes room for greatness from all of his actors. Snow Angels is not humorless, but its humor has a cruel streak—daring you to laugh as if it just can’t wait to wipe that grin off your face with some unsettling eruption of dire feeling.