A Simple Plan ★★★★★

There's a stark, corrosive sadness seeping through A Simple Plan like blood freezing in snow. Upper Midwestern Noir so black and so cold that it could take digits off extremities without any the wiser. The spectre looming above, behind it all is economic collapse: foreclosure, unemployment, neurological difficulty, isolation, loneliness. The people of A Simple Plan are presented directly, warmly, without irony or condescension, so that when the bad stuff starts going around, it hurts and it keeps hurting, a dull ache which sharpens to acuity now and again. Scott Smith adapted his novel into this screenplay, so its voice is both preserved and fluidly translated to the screen. Raimi's direction may be career-best to that point, pulled back behind screens, torqued into upper angles, watching from a distance or peeking around a doorframe. Every so often there is a sequence which Raimi allows to go all out, like it couldn't take it and just had to. Those are the best. Ultimately, this is a portrait of a family as a roof caving in from the weight of accrued ice, unable to make it until a thaw.

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