|Directed by||Marc Evans|
|Written by||Angela Pell|
|Music by||Broken Social Scene|
|Edited by||Mags Arnold|
Snow Cake is a 2006 independent drama film directed by Marc Evans and starring Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Hampshire, and Callum Keith Rennie. It was released on September 8, 2006 in the UK.
Filmed in Wawa, Ontario, Snow Cake is a drama about the friendship between Linda, a woman with autism (Weaver), and Alex (Rickman) who is traumatized after a car accident involving himself and Linda's daughter (Hampshire).
The movie was screened and discussed at Autism Cymru 2nd international conference in May 2006 as well as the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, among others. It was the opening night screening for the Berlin Film Festival as well.
When Vivienne Freeman (Emily Hampshire) gets a ride from Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman), she is killed by a truck crashing into the car, while Alex only gets a nosebleed. Everybody agrees that it is not Alex's fault. He visits the victim's mother Linda (Sigourney Weaver), who has autism. She has been informed about her daughter's death a few hours before Alex's visit, but does not show any signs of grief. However, she has a cleanliness mania which involves her constantly making sure everything in her home is neat, and prevents her from touching garbage bags. Her problem is finding someone who will put the garbage outside to be collected, as this was always something done by her daughter. Linda insists that Alex stay a few days so that he can do it for her. He agrees and also arranges Vivienne's funeral.
During his stay he begins a relationship with one of Linda's neighbors, Maggie (Carrie-Anne Moss), who Linda mistakenly thinks is a prostitute. A local policeman warns Maggie against becoming close with Alex because he is not long out of jail for committing murder. Maggie does not confront Alex about the matter, but instead waits until he brings the subject up himself. Alex reveals that he killed the man who caused his son's death in a car crash while he was on his way to meet Alex for the first time — Alex had only recently learned about his existence, the result of an affair a long time ago.
Linda dislikes Maggie to the point where she initially refuses her help. But after Alex leaves to see the mother of his son, she allows Maggie to come into her home and help her.
Awards and critical recognition
The film was nominated in 4 categories for the 27th Genie Awards in 2007:
- Best actress: Sigourney Weaver
- Best supporting actress: Emily Hampshire
- Best supporting actress: Carrie-Anne Moss (Won)
- Cinematography: Steve Cosens
Snow Cake won the Zip.ca People's Choice Award at the 2007 Kingston Canadian Film Festival.
Rotten Tomatoes has certified the film 66% 'fresh' based on 59 reviews.
The screenwriter, Angela Pell, wrote the role of Alex Hughes with Rickman in mind. It was also Rickman who read the script and made sure Sigourney Weaver (with whom he had previously starred in Galaxy Quest) was contacted about the role of Linda. Both Rickman and Weaver were runners-up at the Seattle International Film Festival for the respective prizes of Best Actor and Best Actress.
During the course of making the movie, Sigourney Weaver (Linda) researched the subject of autism and was coached by Ros Blackburn, a woman with the condition who is also an author and speaker about autism and Asperger's syndrome. Alan Rickman chose not to research the subject of autism in order to make his character have an impact/shock when facing Linda.
- "Snow Cake". Box Office Mojo. 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- Smith, Neil (2006-08-16). "Weaver, still standing tall at 56". BBC. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- Marc Evans (2006). Making of Snow Cake (DVD). BBC.
- Alan Rickman (2006). Making of Snow Cake (DVD). BBC.
- "Snow Cake - Review". IndieLondon. Retrieved 2011-08-24.