The holidays are over and now we must all shiver through the last cold months of winter.
Once you’ve had your fill of egg nog and super sappy holiday movies, why not try one of these winter movies guaranteed to warm your heart cockles…or at least make you grateful you’re only stuck in a freezing cold for about 10 more weeks.
First off, we have Alive, a lovely 1993 hillside romp with friends, directed by Frank Marshall and staring Ethan Hawke. Watch the stranded Uruguayan rugby team as they band together against the cold of the Andean mountains and get way closer than you ever want to get with your buddies. In case you haven’t seen this classic we’ll just say that it will make your stale, microwaved burritos taste like filet mignon. Best of all, its based on a true story, so you know most of it actually happened.
Another winter classic is the impeccable Coen Brothers flick Fargo. Set in frigid North Dakota, this 1996 academy award winning film stars William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand, and features a chilling cameo by a wood chipper. The film follows two bumbling criminals who battle the elements and their own stupidity as they try to get rich quick.
If your looking for some late night winter fun, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shining could be just the thing. Jack Nicholson plays Jack Torrance, a hard luck writer/ abusive father who scores what seems like a cushy job as the winter grounds keeper for the elegant mountain top resort, The Overlook Hotel. What family wouldn’t love to have an elegant resort to themselves for the winter? But when the harsh weather of winter hits the resort, Jack’s family learns that there might be worse things than facing the wicked blizzard outside.
Maybe you’re one of those people who enjoys winter; a snow bunny who wouldn’t mind if it never ended? Well, check out The Day After Tomorrow. Jack Frost gets up to a bit of catastrophic global havoc in this dystopic disaster movie, in which the world is plunged into a new ice age due to some questionable science. So much for global warming. Jake Gyllenhaal is symbol of geek girl fantasies as he broods in the most nerdily romantic of all locals; in front of a fire, inside a library. Talk about cozy.
Speaking of Jack Frost, there happens to be an assortment of films where the personification of winter gets up to various degrees of trouble. In the 1934 animated tale a bear runs away from home only to face Old Man Winter himself. The impeccable Michael Keaton voices a haunted snowman trying to help out his son in Jack Frost (1998), causing confusion after the 1997 release of a horror comedy featuring a haunted snowman of the same name. Don’t take the kids to this one.
And last, but most certainly not least, Groundhog Day!! Just when he thought the winter couldn’t get any longer Bill Murray’s character Phil, the irascible weather man, gets stuck in the most podunk of towns – Punxsutawney, PA – on a day that is never… going… to end. A twist on stories like It’s A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, this Harold Ramis comedy has Phil trapped in a never ending celebration of winter until he learns to embrace the cold and be warmed by the love of his fellow man. Perhaps a bit on the sappy side, but this is a movie you can watch over, and over, and over.
Stay warm, stay safe and remember, don’t drive angry…that’s if your car will even start.
Editor’s Pick: In case you make it through all of these and your car still won’t start, like mine wouldn’t today – we can add another to the list. You might have recognized the picture of the dog at the top of the page from the 1982 masterpiece The Thing, directed by John Carpenter. If you didn’t recognize it, then either you’ve never seen the movie, or it’s been too long since you have, so add it to you list.
Images: Universal Pictures, MGM, A-Pix Entertainment,
Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros.