“My Life on Ice” – Chris Luedtke

If sound and light had a title, Eraserhead would take the cake. If it had a subtitle, My Life on Ice would fit. My Life on Ice follows high school figure skater Étienne (Jimmy Tavares) as he records a good chunk of his life in a home movies fashion after he receives a video camera for his birthday. Throughout the next one-hundred minutes, Étienne’s life is revealed on camera along with some secrets that he does not wish to openly reveal.

 

Much of My Life on Ice is spent screwing around rather than actually doing something. While it should seem that more and more of Étienne’s life be revealed with every passing second the truth is it’s not. Étienne’s close connection with his mother Caroline (Ariane Ascaride) and best friend Laurent (Jonathan Zaccaï) are mostly what carries the movie. Étienne’s crush on his high school geography teacher Ludovic (Lucas Bonnifait) is revealed early, and a connection is forged with him mid-way through as Ludovic dates Étienne’s mother.

 

My Life on Ice is not much more than just a bunch of jumbled character connections. An attempt to forge a story out of this is almost a futile attempt. Much of it is random and a play on the title. Since Étienne’s love life is on hold until he finds someone he loves, it is considered that his life is “on ice” and at the same time he’s a figure skater. Nice touch, real clever.

 

It’s actually kind of irritating that Étienne’s figure skating is more filler than anything else. It almost seems like it’s meant to be there as a cliché for his homosexuality. About one third of My Life on Ice does follow Étienne’s figure skating career but doesn’t yield anything. It just stops after the French Cup and forgets that any of it ever happened. I kept asking myself after the film ended if there really was a point to the figure skating?

 

Overall, it’s not that bad of a film. The acting is spot on and the humanistic qualities are undeniable. Reactions are realistic to a tee, and every character gets a chance to be fleshed out, especially Étienne. The ending is a total cop-out, though. The way love was found was just so utterly random and pathetic, it made me roll my eyes and almost want to shut the movie off minutes before the credits hit. Overall, it’s good if you can handle the shaky camera style and the unnecessary filler, but I wouldn’t recommend this unless the premise really sparks your interest.

 

Rating: ★★½☆

 

-Chris Luedtke

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