×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Thin Ice

Boldly going where Sonja Henie never went before, Brit low-budgeter "Thin Ice" skates in as a thoroughly likable, but dramatically unfocused, romantic comedy of Sapphic passion on the rink. Scoring full marks for originality but somewhat less for artistic content, pic lacks the cutting edge and emotional oomph to thrill theatrically but could perform trim figures in limited distribution, given its deliberately light, crossover appeal.

With:
Natalie - Charlotte Avery
Steffi - Sabra Williams
Greg - James Dreyfus
Fiona - Clare Higgins
Ian McKellen - Himself
Charles - Guy Williams
Felicity - Barbara New
Eamon - Eamon Geoghegan
Cosima - Martha Freud
Lotte - Suzanne Bertish
Vandy - Cathryn Harrison

Boldly going where Sonja Henie never went before, Brit low-budgeter “Thin Ice” skates in as a thoroughly likable, but dramatically unfocused, romantic comedy of Sapphic passion on the rink. Scoring full marks for originality but somewhat less for artistic content, pic lacks the cutting edge and emotional oomph to thrill theatrically but could perform trim figures in limited distribution, given its deliberately light, crossover appeal.

The film drew some attention at its London Film Festival preem last November , and is set to go out in the U.K. April 28 as the first theatrical offering of distrib Dangerous to Know.

Central duo are Steffi (Sabra Williams) and Natalie (Charlotte Avery), amateur skaters at the same London rink. Steffi, along with journalist partner Greg (James Dreyfus), is planning an article (featuring herself) in the mainstream press about lesbians on ice at the June 1994 Gay Games. When her lover ankles a few weeks prior, Steffi plots to inveigle Natalie into her scheme.

In its first half-hour, the script clunkily goes through the motions of setting up the duo as stereotypical opposites: Steffi the black, working-class lesbian, Natalie the white, middle-class heterosexual.

Latter’s home scenes, with a domineering sister (Clare Higgins) and her porcine husband (Guy Williams), are unfunny and overplayed. Steffi’s gay lifestyle is more naturally caught.

Once the setup is out of the way, pic starts to motor along more confidently, shot and played as a light romance in which both partners just happen to be women.

This seems to be the tone for which tyro helmer Fiona Cunningham Reid is aiming throughout, and with more work on the script and a tighter dramatic focus , she might have brought it off.

Still, it’s a hard film to dislike. Longtime camerawoman Cunningham Reid has come up with a slick, smoothly assembled package on a peanuts budget. Movie is always good to look at, even when some of the dialogue creaks, and Claire Van Kampen’s chamber-music score is a valuable assist.

Williams is especially good as the upfront Steffi, and partners easily with Avery as the quieter, slightly klutzy Natalie. Their final scenes nicely recapture the undogmatic tone of the film at its best.

Thin Ice

British

Production: A Dangerous to Know/ICA Projects release (U.K.) of a Thin Ice production. Produced by Fiona Cunningham Reid, Martien Coucke. Line producer, Coucke. Directed by Fiona Cunningham Reid. Screenplay, Geraldine Sherman, Cunningham Reid.

Crew: Camera (color), Belinda Parsons; editor, Rodney Sims; music, Claire Van Kampen; additional music, Richard Allen, Pete Baikie; production design, Patricia Boulter; costume design, Katy McPhee; sound, Diana Ruston; skating choreography, Eamon Geoghegan; assistant director, Katrin Strong. Reviewed at Mr. Young's Preview Theater, London, Jan. 17, 1995. (In Berlin Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 92 min.

With: Natalie - Charlotte Avery
Steffi - Sabra Williams
Greg - James Dreyfus
Fiona - Clare Higgins
Ian McKellen - Himself
Charles - Guy Williams
Felicity - Barbara New
Eamon - Eamon Geoghegan
Cosima - Martha Freud
Lotte - Suzanne Bertish
Vandy - Cathryn Harrison

More Film

  • Luca Guadagnino Teams With Valentino on

    Luca Guadagnino Teams With Valentino Designer on Short Film Starring Julianne Moore (EXCLUSIVE)

    Luca Guadagnino has teamed up with Italian designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of the Valentino fashion house, to make a short movie fusing the aesthetics of film and haute couture and featuring an A-list cast comprising Julianne Moore, Kyle MacLachlan, Marthe Keller, KiKi Layne, Mia Goth and Alba Rohrwacher. The 35-minute film, portraying different chapters [...]

  • Trailer for Berlin Panorama Opener 'Flatland'

    Trailer for Berlin Panorama Opener 'Flatland' Revealed (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for Jenna Bass’s “Flatland,” which is the opening film of Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Sales are being handled by The Match Factory. The South African film is a contemporary Western centering on a journey of self-discovery for three different but equally trapped women. “It paints [...]

  • 'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-and-Date China Release

    'Captain Marvel' Lands Day-and-Date China Release

    Marvel Studios’ hotly anticipated blockbuster “Captain Marvel” will hit Chinese theaters on the same day as it debuts in North America. The Brie Larson-starring picture will release on March 8, 2019, which is also International Women’s Day. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the film tells the story of Carol Danvers, a former fighter [...]

  • Peter Rabbit trailer

    Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.6% in 2018

    Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films. Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Assn. of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 [...]

  • Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content