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Chilly Scenes Of Winter Criterion Blu-ray Review

Crazy in love. 

Based on the novel by Ann Beattie, “Chilly Scenes Of Winter” (AKA “Head Over Heels”) is a romantic comedy that doesn’t play like your standard romcom (it also jumps around in time). The story revolves around an office worker (Charles) who meets a woman in the filing department (Laura) that he falls for. Laura is already married, but she’s moving out and on her own. Charles and Laura begin to hit it off, but eventually the relationship falls apart leaving Charles heartbroken. The personal life of Charles is also a bit of a mess as he leaves with his unemployed friend Sam and has a mother who is deeply troubled. Wanting to get back together with Laura, Charles tries his best to win her back as she returns to her husband, but are his efforts in vain? 

Written and directed by Joan Micklin Silver, “Chilly Scenes Of Winter” has become a cult comedy over the years. Despite breaking the fourth wall and containing various humorous moments, ‘Chilly’ has a very real world feel to it in its exploration of desire and obsession. Yes, the movie feels a little different viewed through a modern lens (especially with the stalking and Charles’ unhealthy attachment to Laura), but it works in the context of a story of a man who can’t shake his feelings (and move on from his past) for what he considers to be his dream woman. He’s essentially trapped by his feelings for her and is stuck in a vicious cycle of wanting to be with her and only her. 

On the downside, it feels like there should have been something more to the story. It’s a little bit of a one note examination and there is never any sort of twist or change to the story being told. The characters themselves also could have used a bit more depth rather than merely exploring their feelings for one another. Yes, we do see some of both Charles and Laura’s personal lives, but not quite enough.

As one might imagine, this is mostly John Heard and Mary Beth Hurt’s movie and the two actors are in peak form here. The late Heard was always an underrated actor and had real range. Noted film and stage actress Mary Beth Hurt really shines on screen here and has tremendous chemistry with Heard. Aside from the 2 stars, the film boasts an impressive supporting cast featuring Peter Riegert (of “Animal House” fame), Gloria Grahame (from “It’s A Wonderful Life”), Jerry Hardin, Mark Metcalf, Kenneth McMillan, and Griffin Dunne (who is also a producer on this). Riegert and Grahame have the most to do here and also turn in really engaging performances.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The new restored 4K digital transfer is sadly disappointing as there were noticeable lines and flickering throughout.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? The audio fares better here as the Mono track delivers a clean audio experience. 

* “Chilly Scenes Of Winter” trailer
* Original ending
* An insightful 14 ½ minute excerpt of a 2005 conversation between filmmaker Michael Pressman and director Joan Micklin Silver for the DGA’s Visual History Series. She chats about her love of cinema, childhood, and her own filmography.
* “Joan Micklin Silver: Encounters With The New York Director”- A 45 minute 1983 documentary about the work of Joan Micklin Silver. Numerous interviews and discussions about Silver’s life and work are included.
* “Producing Chilly Scenes Of Winter”- A new 28 minute interview with producers Griffin Dunne, Mark Metcalf and Amy Robinson (Metcalf and Dunne also have small roles in the film).
* A booklet featuring credits and an essay by author/Professor Shonni Enelow


March 13, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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