3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 15 minutes
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“Zamboni Man” is a quiet, subtle film about a man who may as well not exist. After all, nobody notices Walt (Michael Shannon) unless he gets in the way. Everything is all right as long as he sticks to his job of running the zamboni and sweeping trash, though. If he steps out of that role — look out.

We get the feeling that Tyler (Tatiana Totmianina), a star of the ice skating rink who gets the ice to herself after everyone’s gone home, feels much the same way about Walt. But there may be a reason why she ignores him, a reason that involves Walt playing an organ and singing her a song as she skates. Watching that gives viewers the distinct feeling that Walt is a bit of a stalker … or at the very least a little creepy. Or is something else all together different?

The real story behind Tyler and Walt is far more complex than what it seems, and it gives the film a satisfying, yet downbeat conclusion.
Walt and Tyler don’t change as characters, but our perceptions of them do, and that makes the film far more powerful than your usual slice-of-life vignette.

Posted on December 1, 2004 in Reviews by

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