Jimmy (Guy Pearce) is a smooth-talking salesman who finds himself
making a detour after his car breaks down on a desert highway. To pass
the time, he pays a visit to a local palm reader, Vacaro (J.K.
Simmons). Vacaro makes a few positive predictions for him, but then
appears deeply disturbed by a vision. Jimmy demands to know what he
saw, but Vacaro refuses to tell him, and won't even accept payment for
the reading. A few days later, Jimmy becomes uneasy when various
predictions begin to come true. He returns to Vacaro and begs to know
what is in store for him. Vacaro admits that, yes, Jimmy's days are
numbered, and he is to meet his fate--whatever it may be-- upon the
The news causes Jimmy to descend into paranoia
and fear, and he begins to behave irrationally--endangering both his
job and his relationship with his girlfriend (Piper Perabo).What
tragedy is about to befall him? Should he worry about his heart murmur?
The threats from a disgruntled ex-employee? Or his ex-best friend, a
convicted felon, who has recently come back to town? He turns his life
inside out, racing to alter his destiny before the first snow.
Guy Peirce as always gives an amazing performance proving himself yet
again as one of our greatest actors. In this film he plays a smooth
talking salesman who constantly brushes his hair, smokes his fags, and
talks on his cell neglecting his hot girl, using his friends, and
rubbing his chest scratching heart murmur.
The fortune teller is
played by J.K. Simmons who is none other than the fast talking
newspaper tycoon in the "Spidermans" and the shady legs of a cig
company in "Thank You For Smoking". But this role Simmons is a patient
slow talking cowboy who likes to fish, thread his own flies, and make
ten a pop at telling you the future.
While sitting through this
movie I had decided impatiently 2/3 of the way through to give this
movie a "pass it" rating. Other than some good acting and an
interesting story the movie felt bland and stale visually. It was
almost as if there was very little effort to make a visual masterpiece
or even using the camera to strike any sort of emotion.
from the writers that brought us Children of Men and are bringing us
Iron Man and Princess of Mars, the story of First Snow was one of its
redeeming qualities which after being brought to life by Peirce easily
turns the movie into a "Check It" ranking. I loved the quiet subtle
conclusion to a high stress, intense, paranoid movie.
I felt the director stumbled through some of the scenes at times not
quite sure of what to show at what moment. Or maybe he was just
thinking entirely inside the box following some sort of film school
formula for each scene set up. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't complete
rubbish. It seems that now that I have seen it, hindsight tells me it
was a lot better than it was in the theater seat. This tells me that
the story and characters were strong but not the camera, lighting, and
direction. I wanted as anyone does the filmmaking elements to tell the
tale and have me not want to blink or even think about the fact that I
needed to hit the head or wanted dinner. Instead of cohesion the movie
felt like a horse race with Guy in first, the story second, the horse
named Camera pulling up the rear with the director jockey hanging on
for his life just trying to keep up with Guy.