Critics Pay Tribute to a Guilty Pleasure: Ice Castles

Posted on March 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm

As part of rogerebert.com’s annual Women’s Week, three critics got together to pay tribute to one of their favorite films, the ice skating classic, Ice Castles.

Christy Lemire, Sheila O’Malley, and Susan Wloszczyna shared their memories of first seeing the film and acknowledged that despite its cheesiness and some uncomfortable elements, they can’t help loving it.

Released in 1978, it has disco-era signposts aplenty: Melissa Manchester’s unbridled rendition of Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager’s magical Oscar-nominated theme song, “Through the Eyes of Love,” then-It Boy Robby Benson as the hockey hotshot romantic interest and Dorothy Hamill-inspired wedge haircuts galore….

CHRISTY LEMIRE: “Ice Castles” has a really great, gritty sense of place that also keeps it from being teenage nonsense. That town feels so real and so insular. Are there actual bowling alley/ice rink combos in the world?

SHEILA O’MALLEY: I was going to mention that! I totally agree. She really comes from somewhere. It’s very real. The snow, the bowling alley, the frozen pond. A boyfriend who plays hockey. I really hope there are such combos. I’d love to visit. Especially if Colleen Dewhurst is running the show, sipping whiskey from a flask.

CHRISTY LEMIRE: She gives this film so much weight, so much emotional heft.

SHEILA O’MALLEY: She is acting her ASS off, if you’ll pardon the expression. She’s ferocious and filled with emotion and personal regrets and smoking butts and sneaking sips of whiskey at the hockey game. She’s awesome.

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