In the last scene of The Ice Storm, the Hood family sits quietly in their Mercury Cougar. Ben Hood (Kevin Kline), the father, looks at his wife, Elena (Joan Allen), and then at his two children, Paul (Tobey Maguire) and Wendy (Christina Ricci). He then starts crying. The others do not comfort him. "Ben... ," his wife says, barely audible. Ben continues crying, while his family, baffled by his display of emotion, looks on in silence. Ben's loneliness is ironic because at this point in the film, he is the closest he has ever come to appreciating his own family. That they choose to isolate him instead of embracing him turns his loneliness into a prison sentence.

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