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Overall Rating

Awesome: 28.57%
Worth A Look34.29%
Pretty Bad: 2.86%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 17 user ratings

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First Snow
[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"When the snow starts to fall, leave the theater"
3 stars

Leave 60 minutes into “First Snow,” and I think you’ll get a satisfying feature film experience. Stay for the remaining 40 minutes, and all bets are off, though I’m fairly certain disappointment will arrive with its bags packed and ready to spend the night.

Jimmy (Guy Pearce) is a traveling salesman with hopes to branch out to more interesting vocations. During some downtime while his car is being repaired, Jimmy visits a fortune teller (J.K. Simmons) who gives the salesman info that turns out to be true, including hints of his own death. Jimmy takes the signs very seriously, probing deep into his criminal past to find clues on how to prevent the inevitable from happening.

I don’t knock “Snow” for trying to construct something new out of rusty old parts; it’s a tale of irritated self-discovery and through Pearce’s preliminary scenes, the thematic underpinnings of the film hold impressive weight. Pearce can always be counted on to play tortured souls and his jittery, distracted salesman take on Jimmy opens up the script up to a great deal of curiosity.

Tracking Pearce’s performance closely, “Snow” embraces the textures of mysticism, suspense, and steely drama as it takes Jimmy on the ride of his life. But this isn’t an easy film to get into; director Mark Fergus seems too preoccupied with dreary New Mexico locations to be bothered with a more accessible entrance into the story. Again, this is where the acting expertise of Pearce comes in handy. The performance understands the tricky tone Fergus is trying to nail, with Pearce giving the role the dramatic shadings the screenplay doesn’t always offer.

Watching Jimmy confronted with death, trying to suss out those who loathe him, “Snow” finds an interesting beat to dance to. The guillotine of fate makes for an enticing ticking clock, and Fergus (with co-writer Hawk Ostby) gives his characters more confidence as the film nears the hour mark.

Without much warning, “Snow” tumbles when Jimmy starts to get lost in the vast fields of pessimism of his mind. While not a perfect match, “Snow” has a frightening amount in common with the Sandra Bullock brainteaser “Premonition,” but this is by far the more sedate film of the two. Fergus loses focus depicting Jimmy’s mental fissures, favoring uninspired jumps in time and circular sequences of paranoia to best sell that Jimmy isn’t taking the news of his death very well. It’s frustrating to see the film liquefy since the initial narrative launch is cleanly drawn and disinterested with cookie-cutter artifice to see itself through.

By the end, if Jimmy’s fate still matters to you, you have more patience than I could muster. Fergus left me, pardon the pun, cold with “First Snow.” It’s a film of great promise, but loses dramatic circulation the longer it spends time chasing its own tail.

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originally posted: 04/13/07 15:43:12
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/20/15 Dee Dreary film based on an interesting premise. Gloomy, with muttered dialogue. Not good. 2 stars
6/06/09 chatt37412 i sat thru it and thought it worth it.. ending chilled me! 4 stars
4/04/09 Anonymous. this was good, like everyone else said. :] 4 stars
7/03/07 William Goss Decent supernatural drama - not thriller - is grounded by Pearce. 4 stars
5/16/07 Elizabeth Guy Pearce is so versatile and tremendously underrated. 4 stars
5/16/06 boxerlady gave me chillls 5 stars
5/06/06 orville DP work amazing cast amazing slow burn and powerful 5 stars
5/04/06 Deirdre Excellent 5 stars
5/03/06 whiskeyhound you'll never guess where its taking you 5 stars
5/03/06 John Dark / chilling / wide open spaces 5 stars
5/03/06 BurgerinAZ excellent!! still thinking about it! 5 stars
5/02/06 Greenie Amazing director - what's next? Movie makes you think . . . life/fate/destiny/control 5 stars
5/02/06 stoneygirlny well done first event. Great direction, spot on. 4 stars
5/02/06 BB Just Grand!!! Cast was so ON!!! 5 stars
5/02/06 Dave Gare What a ride! 5 stars
5/02/06 Lauren Cuff amazing 5 stars
5/01/06 mhaynes Above average film, but not entirely original. Great Acting/Directing, but weak plot 4 stars
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  23-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 27-Nov-2007



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Mark Fergus

Written by
  Mark Fergus
  Hawk Ostby

  Guy Pearce
  Piper Perabo
  J.K. Simmons
  Shea Whigham
  Rick Gonzalez

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