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First Snow
DVD disk
12.24.2007 By: Quigles
First Snow order
Director:
Mark Fergus

Actors:
Guy Pearce
Steven Michael Quezada
J.K. Simmons

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A cocky salesman gets an ominous reading from a psychic that turns his world upside down.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It's hard to know what to think after watching a movie with a premise involving "fortune telling" that's actually good. If history has taught us anything, it's that fortune telling is a silly (i.e., stupid) concept, and silly concepts don't translate well to serious material.

FIRST SNOW manages to prove this wrong. It's billed as a thriller, but it's really more of a contemplative drama, dealing with fate vs. free will in a simple but effective manner.

Guy Pearce plays against type as a glib, mealy-mouthed salesman, and he's the anchor that holds the film together. While eventually the questions of, "How will this man die?" and, "Can he prevent it?" slowly dissipate into, "Do you even really care?" Pearce's presence is enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen. His character clearly starts out as an unlikable one-note entity, but through the actor's natural charm, as well as the subtle nuances in the script/direction, he evolves into an individual worthy of your interest. Even with the support he gets from the other cast members, this is Pearce's show all the way.

At times, FIRST SNOW becomes slightly too reminiscent of MEMENTO (not just because of its lead actor, but some of the stylistic choices and themes as well), which is the type of comparison no film wants to live up to. No matter, though. This picture has its own set of minor but rewarding charms, and it's grounded by an impressive cast, confident direction, well-realized cinematography, and surprisingly strong production values. It does have some flaws (like the rather perfunctory resolution), but those are forgivable blemishes in what's otherwise an interesting viewing experience.
THE EXTRAS
Nothing, unless you count Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As far as metaphysical drama/thrillers go, FIRST SNOW is pleasantly lacking in exorbitant supernatural elements. It's an intimate, introspective look at destiny, and whether you can simply accept the cards your dealt, or are determined to fight back. Beyond this, the real reason to check out SNOW is Guy Pearce, who delivers his most enticing performance since MEMENTO. This may not be a movie that will blow you away, but it's certainly worth watching at least once.
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