Snow is the perfect backdrop to so many events. Clean and white, it can symbolise hope, purity and new beginnings. Alternatively, a savage blizzard can be threatening and devastating. Snow takes on so many personalities and meanings that the movies love to exploit it, both in symbolical terms and for purely aesthetic reasons. We take a look at our favourite snow scenes.
10. Jack Frost
The premise is more than a little ridiculous: father dies and comes back as a snowman. However, it makes for some cute father / son bonding scenes that would have been a little dull without the talking snowman. Practising hockey, throwing snowballs and sledding is a lot more fun when your father’s made of snow. Of course there’s heartbreak when the son realises dad can’t be a snowman forever, but at least they enjoyed the winter together.
9. It’s A Wonderful Life
When George Bailey begs God for his life back, the snow starts to fall as if on cue; a nice cinematic touch symbolising the return to his reality, the possibility of new beginnings – and it reminds us that it’s Christmas!
If you didn’t love Buddy the elf straight away, you certainly fall for him when he defends his little brother with his extraordinary snowball throwing skills. Turns out that life in the North Pole teaches you more than just how to make toys.
7. Last Holiday
Not many people rate this movie, although the sheer light-hearted stupidity of it all is highly enjoyable. Queen Latifah’s failed attempt at snowboarding makes for a good laugh, and is an excellent example of schadenfreude; taking pleasure from the misfortune of others.
6. The Spy Who Loved Me
A decent ski chase is almost as essential to Bond as his shaken martini, and is one of the many reasons we’re not yet convinced of Craig’s standing – he has yet to prove himself in the snow. Roger Moore, on the other hand, was able to enjoy a rather exciting ski session; one that involved shooting a Russian with his ski pole (one of Q’s inventions), performing a back flip that Olympians would congratulate him for, and finally ending in a rather impressive base jump with a Union Jack parachute. Well done, Bond.
5. Ice Age
Snow is almost an omnipresent force in this film, threatening to destroy the lives of the characters who are trying to escape the Ice Age. There’s no particular snow scene that stands out, however the film itself is clever, funny and deserves to be recognised in this newly created snow genre.
4. Edward Scissorhands
When Edward Scissorhands sculpts an ice angel for the girl he loves, he makes snow. The image of Kim dancing underneath the white flakes, accompanied by Danny Elfman’s haunting music, makes for a touching scene that continues the film’s exploration of beauty and its meaning.
3. Let the Right One In
Set in the harsh winter of Sweden, Let the Right One In is a beautiful film that explores the boundaries of love and friendship, in a way that Twilight could never even dream of. With snow being prominant throughout, it works as the antithesis to all the violence and bloodshed. An image of a victim strung upside down in the woods, blood dripping onto the clean white snow beneath is a particularly striking example
2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Who didn’t want to follow Lucy into the magical land of Narnia? That first glimpse of the crisp snow, stunning trees and altogether quite breathtaking surroundings certainly had us rooting in the back of our wardrobe. Unfortunately we only came up with an old pair of socks.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
The Battle of Hoth. Compulsive watching, fantastic special effects and a great battle scene that includes everything there is to love about Star Wars. Maybe if people invested in some Imperial At-At Walkers, we wouldn’t grumble so much about transport when the snow falls.