Though a romantic movie, “Ice Castles” is anything but just a cliché.
Meet Alexis (Taylor Firth) who makes skating on ice beautiful as she reaches for the top, for the gold.
However, she falls prey to a single moment alone on the ice that will forever alter her world.
Alexis is a aspiring skater who has learned all of her skills on the pond by her home. She doesn’t skate for competition, but for the love she has of the sport. She has a boyfriend, Nick (Rob Mayes), lives with her dad (Tom Skerritt), and enjoys her life.
It isn’t until a skating competition that her talent is noticed by Aiden (Morgan Kelly); then things begin to change for Alexis. Aiden has trained some of the most talented skaters in the nation. He offers to train her, to take her to regional and national competitions, though she will have to work hard and earn her place to go instead of his other students.
It is Nick who finally convinces Alexis to go for the gold and compete with all of her heart in every upcoming competition.
Packing her things, she moves in with other girls, all Aiden’s students, and begins the rigorous process of becoming a starring skater and competitor. Aiden forces her to practice, practice, practice. She fights to get time to talk to her boyfriend and, after a while, all he gets from her are voicemails. With competition just on the horizon, Alexis pushes herself harder.
Alexis goes to competition, beautifully rendered in the movie by Firth, who skates across the ice like a swan on water. Unlike many movies, Firth does all of the skating.
Then it’s off to the next competition, but now her name is known and the media chases after her, writing stories about her talent.
After it comes out that she is “single,” according to her coach, she fights with Nick and must continue on. Feeling overwhelmed by pressure from sponsors and the media, Alexis escapes to a frozen pond and just skates within sight of everyone looking out the windows.
One beautiful jump then becomes a travesty as she hits her head and loses her ability to see except for shadows and light. She falls into a depressed state and won’t leave her room until her dad finally drags her, literally, kicking and screaming from her room, puts skates on her, and takes her out to their pond and makes her skate.
Nick comes at that moment, taking over. Alexis must learn how to skate with her memory, remember her lost love of the ice, and decide whether or not she will compete.
This movie is a refreshing take on an old movie made in 1978 and like the previous one, will leave you wanting more. Alexis will make you smile with her accomplishments, make you cry at each mistake, and make you feel powered by courage to try again. If you’ve ever fallen off a bike and didn’t want to get back on, Alexis shows that taking a chance isn’t so scary–even if you can’t see.
This movie stars a 9 out of 10 for quality and the impact it can leave on the viewer.
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