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Romain is a very successful fashion photographer who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. He copes by being cruel and nasty to those he loves, until a visit with his grandmother changes his outlook. But, his boyfriend's moved out, now what?
My Life on Ice presents the unique point of view of 16-year-old Etienne, a cute would-be ice skating champion living in provincial Rouen who is obsessed with filming his daily life with a digital camera. Told from his subjective perspective, the focus of Etienne's video diary subtly takes shape as he records his single mother, his best friend Ludovic, and, almost stalker-like, his handsome male geography teacher Laurent. Though explaining his goal is to match his mother with Laurent, he gradually comes to the realization that other unconscious desires are motivating him, as hinted at in an intense discussion with Ludovic about the possibility of love between men. Written by
I immediately liked this movie simply because our hero is very handsome and poetic, and his best friend is even more handsome, but I wondered how the movie, all supposedly filmed by our hero and those in his milieu, would fill an hour and forty minutes. Have no fear, I was drawn into it and the leisurely pacing simply added to the poetry and visual beauty of the scenes.
It's a lot like the movie "Garcon Stupide" in its cinéma-vérité feel, but the simple, straightforward journey of one year in this boy's life makes for a more cohesive movie, I think.
The grandmother is reminiscent of Gena Rowlands. I don't know if that's good or bad, it just is. Most people would say that's good.
I enjoyed the travelogue aspect of the movie, the interesting bits and pieces of Rouen and other places that you're never going to see on the Travel Channel. But the heart of the film is the relationships between the characters, and the way those relationships are ruled by our hero's desires and obsessions.
For most of the film, everything is a matter of suggestion. Our hero is screamingly gay, but only his camera-work screams it out loud. He yearns for his teacher-cum-mother's-boyfriend, who sees this and maybe even likes this a little, but we never see anything come of this on screen, if anything happens at all.
His happiness will probably have to take another form.
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