Saturday, January 28, 2012

30 Days of Oscar Day 4: Ice Castles

Movie: Ice Castles
Year: 1980
Nominations: Best Original Song, "Theme from Ice Castles (Through the eyes of Love)", Marvin Hamlish and Carole Bayer Sager
Wins/Snubs: It lost the award to "It Goes Like it Goes" from Norma Rae, though it totally SHOULD have lost to "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie

This movie requires a little explanation for why it ended up in my list at all.  I grew up in the 1980s in Northern New York.  Figure skating or hockey are all but required for children there.  So the skating part of this movie and the Olympics of 1980 drew me in.  But really, it's because I've heard of this stupid song since I first learned to play the piano as a kid.  I would buy popular music to learn to play - Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, lots of other 80s hits.  Well, the "Theme from Ice Castles" was ALWAYS in the compilations I bought.  But I'd never heard the song or seen the movie as it came out the year I was born.  It's not even rated R so I'm surprised this wasn't on TV all the time when I was a kid.  But until I watched it for this feature, I'd really never seen it.  

Sadly, it really doesn't live up to the hype in my head.  Ice Castles is very TV-Movie of the week about a girl with natural skating ability who is recruited to train for the Olympics.  She makes it pretty far, but can't take the pressure and in a moment of pique makes a big mistake on the ice and is injured and loses her sight.  Her ex-boyfriend, who gave up med school to try to play hockey, forces her to learn to skate again, and she returns to competition.  It's not as good as The Cutting Edge for skating fun, and almost any other sports movie is more moving, and any movie about a person overcoming a disability will move you more.  However, as a movie that was nominated for it's song and theme, this movie does a great job.  The theme plays over the opening credits with lyrics.  That's the first introduction to the song and it really sets the tone and feeling for the film.  Throughout the rest of it, particularly when Lexie is skating, the theme plays without lyrics.  It's integral to the movie, which many nominated songs are not anymore.  So for that alone, I can support this nomination.  

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