One of my good friends is currently going through a nasty divorce and trying to adjust to life as a single dad with only limited time with his kids. So when I saw the trailer for the movie Edge of Winter, it immediately struck a nerve with me and decided to watch it. Joel Kinnaman plays a sort of a survivalist/blue collar guy named Elliot who has fallen on hard times after his divorce. Elliot’s ex-wife, played by Rachelle Lefevre, has moved on with her life and is going on a cruise with her new husband, Ted. Before she leaves for the cruise, she drops off her teenage boys (Shiloh Fernandez & Tom Holland) with their Father, who decides to take them on a little surprise wilderness adventure.
From there Edge of Winter takes a dark survival turn when Elliot and his boys crash their truck on a snowy logging road in the middle of nowhere. To compound their problems, one of his teenage sons tells him that his ex-wife and Ted are moving to London at the end of the month and taking his only boys with them. This throws Elliot, who in most situations would probably be rock solid on survival, into a mental breakdown at the thought of losing his kids.
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Joel Kinnaman, who I like in House of Cards, does a great job as the unhinged father, Elliot Baker. He runs the full spectrum of emotions in this movie, from happy go lucky to a complete melt down. As he and the boys push farther into the unknown, Elliot becomes more erratic. At some point, the two teenage boys have to decide if they are safer with or without their dad because “Dad” is clearly losing it.
Edge of Winter is pretty dark, in a “Shining” sort of way, as the main character, Elliot becomes more and more dangerous to himself and those around him. The movie has no slow parts, it builds right from the start. I found myself feeling sorry for Elliot and the situation that he finds himself in with two teenage boys who have no survival skills and his world crumbling around him.