Dreams are all a small-town Iowa native, dreams that are just out of her reach. With the raw talent of a champion figure skater, all Alexis Winston (Taylor Firth) has to nurture her love of the sport is a small pond near her rural home. A home she shares with her windowed father (Henry Czerny) and an aunt who encourages her to enter a nearby competition. Choreographing a simple routine in need of polish, Lexi doesn’t place but she catches the eye of an Olympic champion looking for his next superstar.
Aiden (Morgan Kelly) believes Lexi can go places with the proper training. So regardless of her misgivings, not the least of which is leaving behind boyfriend Nick (Rob Mayes), Lexi leaves behind small-town charms for the big city of Boston. Creating a stir that piques a media buzz storm Lexi becomes the new “it girl” of female figure skating. Life becomes a maze of photo shoots, press conferences, and interviews. In her pursuit to train harder, she lets go of relationships, and in a single moment, everything changes.
FILM REVIEW | ‘PATRICK’: A REALLY CUTE AND UNDERRATED BRITISH COMEDY‘ICE CASTLES’ (2010) #FWarchives #Movies Click To Tweet
As I don’t really know how the 70s version of Ice Castles plays out, I’ve no idea how the differences vary between the two. This is a dazzling joy to watch with interesting, profound messages of faith and love. The cast consists of professional skaters, and in a less prominent role, a professional who plays Lexi’s rival. With Taylor Firth’s casting, the skating sequences are real, unlike former motion pictures that try to achieve this effect. Everything about them radiates artistry; instead of fictionalized imitations we see authentic competitions full of beautiful athletic grace. Sure, there’s times when it looks less real, but for the most part, these sequences are impressive.
One would assume that by choosing a cast of athletes, the emotional (acting) side of the production would suffer. That is not the case with this leading lady. Taylor does a marvelous job. Being her first ever acting gig, one might question her ability, but she shines; her innocent, bubbly manners make Lexi an extremely likable and vulnerable character. What surprises me the most is how this goes against type by not creating a drastic character change (from circumstances). Rob Mayes isn’t a familiar name, either, but his Nick is good. I respect and appreciate how his character reacts to Lexi, he never gives up on her and more importantly he doesn’t let her give up. Their latter scenes together are heartbreaking and healing.
Some of the same people are back for the remake as the original, one of whom being the same director, Donald Wrye. The script is a sweet story that isn’t without deeper, more thought-provoking elements, some of which are unexpected (like the would-be jerk character actually caring). Also, the costumes and choreography are so lovely; even the dramatic make-up jobs don’t take away from it.
Something about the production sparkles, from the acting to the scenery, everything is breathtaking. There’s heartbreaking moments that leave you wanting to cry but often transcend into instant instances of beautiful artistry. Of course, offsetting the tension is appropriate humor then there is the soundtrack of catchy pop tunes (most of which belong to Britt Nicole, a Christian artist), and something I rather enjoy about the film. She also sings the contemporary version of the award-winning song “Through the Eyes of Love,” in a memorable vocal performance.
Ice Castles is a delight; it’s really a winning score with so many emotional stimulates from the cast (all of the good kind) that it is viewed as nothing less than a bright spot of sweet sunshine on a winter day.
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You can find Ice Castles (2010) digitally on Amazon Video
Content: reacting to her accident, Lexi lashes out at those who love her most when adjusting to her handicap; there’s one instance of a “dramatic” scene with her father. Young loves kiss and roll around in the snow. Lexi becomes involved with her coach for a brief time, although there is nothing beyond kissing. The film is PG.