Coming relatively hot on the heels of her 1977 weekly-newspaper drama Between the Lines, director Joan Micklin Silver turns from that ensemble piece to the intimate, spare Chilly Scenes of Winter. Charles (John Heard in one of his finest roles) is a mid-level government employee hung up on Laura (Mary Beth Hurt), the two meeting by chance during the course of a normal workday. Getting in the way is her boorish All-American husband, but despite this Charles and Laura enter into an on-again-off-again, tender romance set to the snowy backdrop of midwinter Salt Lake City, with Micklin Silver wringing a great deal of emotion out of this relatively simple concept. Adapted from the Ann Beattie novel of the same name, Chilly Scenes of Winter is a masterpiece pinpointing the unruliness and disheveled nature of love, and established Micklin Silver as one of American cinema’s foremost voices at the end of the 1970s.
Appears in: Three Films by Joan Micklin Silver