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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Ice Mother'
(Zuzana Krónerová, Pavel Nový, Alena Mihulová, Václav Neuzil, Tatiana Vilhelmová, et al / DVD / NR / (2017) 2018 / Film Rise - MVD Visual)

Overview: After her husband's death, Hana lives on alone in the family villa. Her two sons visit her with their families, but these visits frequently end in quarrels.

When Hana meets Brona, a hardy fellow, inured to winter swimming, a new world opens before her. Brona's teammates absorb her into their team and Hana gradually learns to overcome her fear of icy water.

DVD Verdict: The Czech Republic's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards, 'Ice Mother' is one of those films where you know they are dipping into icy waters, and knowing that fact is real, it makes you shiver to the core!

But, and with that said, it does have a warm heart and a loving soul attached to it. That comes through in spades with Hana (Zuzana Kronerová). Widowed for years, and always with her dead husband's presence looming dark-cloud-like above her, the crumbling villa where she lives is both her sanctity and her prison.

So, we quickly learn that it's in their dearly departed father's name that her two sons and their families visit each weekend, for a clenched, miserable mealtime in which recriminations and grudges are served up along with the soup tureen!

Not exactly an exciting, go-getter of a film, sure, I'll give you that, bit this naturalistic, if not melancholic drama from Bohdan Sláma follows Hana’s belated decision to stake a claim in her own life following a new relationship somewhat beautifully.

Together also with the support of a community of doughty ice swimmers - and, again, these scenes will have you reaching for an extra blanket around your viewing shoulders, trust me - step by step into the icy waters, Hana gets to grip with both the feel of nature and the feel of a male companion. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.