First Snow

| March 21, 2007

Sometimes, you have to give a small independent flick a chance. With First Snow, there was an interesting tag line: What if someone looked into your future and didn’t see tomorrow? Hey, I am hooked! Let’s move forward.
Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Memento) stars as Jimmy. He is a flooring salesman who seems to always have a few things going on the side. In watching him, I instantly knew he was the kind of salesman I didn’t like–he wears a suit like it is a uniform that he is too good to wear, with the tie always pulled down a couple of inches and the top button undone–like he was wearing it because he had to, not because it made him look professional. Jimmy doesn’t need that look. He sees sales as the game and will say anything (we see a couple of example very early on) to move “the patter” along.
As the film opens, Jimmy is having car trouble in the middle of nowhere (okay, most of New Mexico could be classified as middle of nowhere) and while waiting for the mechanic to fix it, wanders over to a roadside Fortune Teller to see what the future holds. J.K. Simmons (Oz, Thank You for Smoking) plays Vacaro, the man who has been given the gift of sharing the future with his customers. He tells Jimmy that he will come into money, does a dead on description of his girlfriend and that a particular basketball game will end the way Jimmy does not think is possible.
He will later decide for himself that Vacaro truly has a gift of telling the future and sees that this belief may actually cause him to travel down the road which leads to his death. Imagine the dissonance in your head and trying to outwit your own fate. This is what takes us down a quickly paced road toward the end of this film.
I liked First Snow. The cast is quite good–and if there were more of Simmons, I would have been happier. It might have been a better film if first time director Mark Fergus (he wrote one of my 2006 favorites, Children of Men) had a bigger budget for effects, but he does well with what he had. The cinematography is gripping. The editing keeps the film on a generally good pace and the music helps bring you along for the ride.
It would make you think, what if you knew…? What if you knew any number of things were going to happen to you in a short period of time? How would you react? Could you change that which the gods have decreed? This is the story of First Snow.

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