The Ice Rink (La Patinoire)

"Good"

The Ice Rink (La Patinoire) Review


A lightly and fondly sarcastic, self-irreverent mockery of movie making, "The Ice Rink" ("La Patinoire") takes place behind the scenes on a location shoot for a inflated French art film trying to wrap production in time to qualify for the Venice Film Festival.

All we're told about the film-within-a-film is that it's a sports opus and romantic tragedy (!) about a hockey goalie and a beautiful girl who dies in his arms after being shot in the back while skating towards him in a ball gown (a scene that is shot over and over with a hairy-chested stunt man as her double).

"Sudden death (overtime) is a metaphor for Europe's predicament," insists the movie's frustrated director (Tom Novembre), who desperately holds his project together through a Murphy's Law deluge of semi-sophisticated slapstick disasters.

For starters, almost nobody working on his movie can skate, including him. Cast and crew wobble and crash into each other throughout "The Ice Rink" and somehow it just keeps getting funnier.

The poor director has to stroke the egos of his stars, a narcissistic American screen idol (played beautifully over-the-top by Bruce Campbell of "Evil Dead" fame) and a pampered sexpot starlet (Delores Chaplin, granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin) -- who begin sleeping together almost the minute they arrive on the set.

Shooting at an ice rink in Lithuania provides its own nightmares, including trying to control a rambunctious real hockey team hired as extras (they don't speak French and can't understand a word the director says), greasing local politicians and mopping up a flood after stage lights left on during a lunch break melt all the ice.

Then there's the cameraman for a "making of" TV documentary who is forever in the director's face as his accident-prone film hits snag after hilarious snag. The director himself, played with such droll anxiety by spindly Novembre, even winds up helming the last half of the movie from a wheelchair with a sling on his arm.

Written and directed by novelist-turned-filmmaker Jean-Philippe Toussaint ("Monsieur") as a nothing-sacred comedy of errors that finds a constant source humor in the minutia of filmmaking, "The Ice Rink" is a lampoon rhapsody for anyone even a little familiar with the stress, the egos, the unforeseen catastrophes and the absurdities that go into making a feature film.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Jean-Philippe Toussaint

Starring: as Actor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.