An Englishman with a sorrowful past, Alex (Alan Rickman) is driving through rural Ontario when he’s involved in a car accident that kills his teenage hitchhiking passenger. Escaping unscathed he decides to visit the deceased girl’s mother to express his regret. However when he arrives at the small town of Wawa, he discovers that Linda (Sigourney Weaver) is a high-functioning autistic, much less concerned about the loss of her daughter than with the levels of cleanliness in her kitchen.
Following the rubbish thrillers My Little Eye and Trauma Welsh director Marc Evans attempts a whimsical character study. Angela Pell’s script might begin in snowy The Sweet Hereafter territory, yet its formulaic quirkiness soon grates. Uptight Alex - ‘I don’t have baggage, I have haulage’, he quips - undergoes a predictable thawing at the hands of not only the live-in-the-moment Linda (a miscast, overly showy Weaver), but also the beautiful, patient and conveniently single neighbour Maggie (Carrie-Ann Moss). In its bid to affirm life, and for us to see the world anew (glass is a recurrent symbol), Snow Cake simply ends up skating over the complex messiness of human emotions.