Tom Holland has been on my radar since I saw the Impossible and I was utterly entranced by his performance as the oldest son in this movie based on a true story. I enjoyed his portrayal of Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War as well; the MCU finally has found an actor who embodies both sides to this superhero! So, deciding that I wanted to see more of Tom Holland’s work before Spider-Man: Homecoming would hit theatres, I looked up some of his other work. Edge of Winter was the first movie that caught my eye.
When Bradley and Caleb are dropped off at their father Elliot’s house, they are neither disappointed nor enthusiastic about their stay. When Elliot finds them checking out the rifle Caleb found under the bed, he first gets angry, but then he gets a brilliant idea: he’s going to teach his sons how to shoot. As they embark upon a journey that becomes fraught when their car crashes and they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, both boys get the sense something’s off with their dad.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that this movie had me on the edge of my seat throughout, but there was definitely a tension that wouldn’t quite leave me. From the first moment when Elliot goes off at the boys for playing with his rifle (which was totally justified), there was this feeling that his anger was a scary thing. Once he finds out his boys will be moving to London, and smashes the cast around his hand, there’s a real sense of danger. For the boys, but also for himself.
And yet, there were times where I could empathise with Elliot and his need to be a good father to his sons. He really does try, and later on in the movie, all he can think about is protecting his boys, even though he’s not sure from what. Bradley (played by Tom Holland) and Caleb have an interesting dynamic of their own, where they’re both annoyed at each other, but also care a lot about each other. When Caleb shoots a rabbit during their shooting practice, Bradley immediately realises what the effect on his little brother will be, and asks him if he’s okay. When Bradley falls through the ice, Caleb’s fear for his brother’s life is shown clearly in his scared face and panicked actions.
So when the main emotion on those boys’ faces is fear when they look at their father, it made me shudder. I was rooting for the boys to get away from Elliot at the end, and the last shot of their shell-shocked faces was heart-breaking.
I’m looking forward to seeing more of Tom Holland’s work.