Reel Dad: Seven winter films to watch while it snows

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "The Revenant."

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "The Revenant."

Contributed photo / Contributed photo

Since we can’t get a break from winter, let’s go to the movies!

Here are seven favorites that make snow a fundamental part of the story.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Winter never looks better than in this lush interpretation of Boris Pasternak’s novel about life in Russia before, during and after the revolution. Despite the cold, Omar Sharif and Julie Christie heat the screen with a passionate romance that violates all the sensibilities of the period. The Oscar-winning cinematography and music score fill the screen with wonder.

Fargo (1987)

Winter rarely feels so cold as in this fascinating tragedy from moviemakers Joel and Ethan Cohen. Frances McDormand won her first Oscar for remaining calm against a backdrop filled with exaggerated characters doing all types of bad things. Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins was Oscar nominated for perfectly capturing the chilly landscape.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Winter can bring out the best in friends and neighbors as director Frank Capra celebrates in this classic tale. While we usually think of this film at the holidays, watching it any time of year can warm the heart with its sincere celebration of the difference people make when we care for each other. James Stewart and Donna Reed star.

Misery (1990)

Winter can, as well, bring out the worst in people as we quickly learn in this adaptation of a Stephen King story about an author who gets stranded in a blizzard. Kathy Bates won an Oscar for portraying the ultimate fan who refuses to let the weather get in the way of making sure she gets what she wants from her favorite writer.

The Revenant (2017)

Winter can force people to do what it takes to survive as Leonardo DiCaprio experiences in this Oscar-winning tale from director Alejandro G. Iñárritu. As a loner in the woods, DiCaprio battles bears, people and snow while trying to save himself from the elements. Along the way, he reminds us what a powerful actor he can be in a portrayal that won an Academy Award.

The Shining (1980)

Winter in Colorado can be a delightful scene filled with ski slopes and mountain lodges. And, as a native, I love those months in my home state. Stanley Kubrick - partially using the actual Stanley Hotel in Estes Park as a setting - creates an ultimate blizzard in the mountains in this adaptation of Stephen King’s novel that features Jack Nicholson at his grizzly best.

Wind River (2017)

Winter can get in the way of solving a mysterious murder in this thriller from writer/director Taylor Sheridan. While a tracker from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and an F.B.I. agent brave the freezing temperatures to find the killer, their progress is continually interrupted by the unforgiving weather. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen stars.

Ready for warmer temperatures? Films can help with that, too.

In the meantime, see you at the movies.