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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.