Thin Ice Review

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The story of a London based lesbian journalist, who is also an amateur doubles figure skater, hoping to compete in, as well as cover, the NY Gay Games.


On a budget of less than £160,000 and with a cast assembled just two weeks before shooting began, first time director Cunningham Reid brings off a likeable if slushy romance about love on the ice-rink.
Steffi (Williams) is in training for the Gay Games in New York when her partner, both skating and sexual, leaves after an almighty row. With just days to go, she’s desperate for a replacement. Enter the naive but eager-to-learn Natalie (Avery), rather clumsy in a pair of ice-skates and apparently straight but willing to give it a go to escape from the drudgery of life with her bossy sister and leery brother-in-law.
As the two girls perfect their routine they gradually fall in love, and Natalie is forced to confront her burgeoning sexuality, but what Steffi doesn’t tell her is that she’s an ambitious photographer and is just using her for an article she plans to put together with a writer friend (Freyfus) to break into mainstream journalism. (well, The Observer (two ital)). When Natalie finds out, her vulnerability and sexual confusion bring her insecurity bubbling to the surface and make the betrayal seem all the worse.
Although Thin Ice is at core a sentimental and predictable love story, a strong cast, tight script and a refreshing simplicity make up for the lack of any real purpose and the slightly claustrophobic direction. And footage of the real Gay Games with a fleeting guest appearance by Sir Ian McKellen as himself pep up proceedings considerably. It all adds up to a neatly woven gay feelgood movie devoid of angst and happy to entertain rather than get bogged down thrashing out too many issues.

Amiable, original, but slightly overplayed drama