thin-iceJust skating along through a normal Wisconsin winter.
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Lea Thompson, Billy Crudup, Michelle Arthur, David Harbor and Bob Baliban
Director/Scriptwriter: Jill Sprecher
ATO Pictures
Rating: R for language, violence and themed material
Running Length: 115 minutes
Thin Ice, which was filmed in winter in Wisconsin, is reminiscent of Fargo. Greg Kinnear’s character, Mickey Prohaska, tries for the moon and watches his schemes slowly fall apart, is like the William H. Macy character. There is violence and things aren't always what they seem.
Mickey is a insurance salesman who depends on his secretary, Michelle Arthur. Mickey is separated from wife Lea Thompson, and though he tries to get back together, she doesn't trust him because of his money-scheming ways. It is when Mickey meets David Barbor at an insurance convention that things get interesting. He hires David and then proceeds to undermine him because of a potential client, Gruvy (a delightful Alan Arkin). Gruvy is an old Wisconsin farmer with a pet dog and a house full of valuable antiques. He doesn't want insurance. Bob Baliban is an appraiser. While Mickey is plotting, Gruvy gets a security installation by Billy Crudup who turns out to be on the psychotic side. In the meantime, secretary Michelle figures out that something is amiss and is hinting blackmail. Mickey’s face, which was sunny and bright is becoming long, forlorn and even the word “desperate” doesn't cover it. Mickey really is on thin ice and a slippery, downward slide.
You just have to go along with the ride here. Directing and script are by Jill Sprecher (Clockwatchers) who knows when to turn the screw. Just when you think nothing more can happen, it does. Greed is at the forefront and that colors the situation so that you can't see the obvious. Mickey Prohaska considers himself an expert at the con game, beginning with meeting someone and “Do you have the time?” In a larger context, that line went out with the Edsel. The acting in this film is well done. Alan Arkin’s old farmer with a bad memory and heavy accent steals his scenes (dog, too). Billy Crudup as the security man with a fiery temper does unstable very good. The winter Wisconsin scenery plays a role here and photography is done with a fine touch. All in all, Thin Ice is what greedy people walk on all the time.
Copyright 2012 Marie Asner