Film and TV

Ten Ice-Skating Movies From Fails to Gold (Including a New Colorado Film)

Face it: In about ninety days, you'll be praying for winter.
Face it: In about ninety days, you'll be praying for winter. Brandon Marshall

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5. Miracle (2004)
February 1980 was a simpler time: Captain & Tennille topped the charts, the answer to the question "I don't know, honey, do you want to get matching sweaters?" was always affirmative, and we as a nation believed that the outcome of a medal-round Olympic hockey match was not only a referendum on political systems but an event meriting divine intervention. Miracle harks back to those days, and you'd have to have a heart of ice not to be at least a little bit moved by Kurt Russell's polyester-and-plaid ensemble and inspirational locker room speeches (bowdlerized for the PG audience, who certainly would have been scandalized by coach Herb Brooks' actual admonition that "If you lose this game, you'll take it to your fucking graves. Your fucking graves.")
4. Slap Shot (1977)
While Paul Newman helms the hapless Charleston Chiefs in this celebration of the chaos on ice that was hockey before the sport decided it needed to change its image, it's the gleefully anarchic hoodlums the Hanson brothers (and not the towheaded trio of crooners, kids) who steal the show with their unapologetic stupidity and thuggery in this sports comedy. Unlike the self-important (and only unintentionally entertaining) Youngblood, Newman and company fully embrace the absurdity of the setup in a championship game that's half striptease, half bloodbath. Add John Belushi, and it's Animal House on ice.
3. I, Tonya (2017)
Anyone who had a pulse in 1994 remembers the media's obsession with pitting Ice Princess against so-called Trailer Trash, and nearly a quarter-century later, Americans have descended so far into a morass of alternative facts that this biopic skews the fictionalized Tonya as the sympathetic anti-hero in a violent physical attack as Harding herself attends the Golden Globes. Regardless, I, Tonya is a fantastic movie — funny, dark, with great performances all around — that manages to sustain a sense of drama even though we already know about Harding's journey from rink to wrestling ring to red carpet.
2. Blades of Glory (2007)
Who doesn't love a movie that includes the line, "These guys put the bone in Zamboni"? No one, that's who — Bullock confirms that everyone in the skating community enjoys this spoof "even if they don't admit it." Will Ferrell and Jon Heder's lowbrow homage to everything that makes figure skating delightful (the costumes, the theatrics, the mesmerizing crotchwork) is one of the rare sports parodies that holds up a decade after its release, aided in no small measure by Craig T. Nelson's obvious commitment to method acting, as evidenced by his horrible, horrible onscreen hair.
1. The Cutting Edge (1992)
Was there ever any doubt about the film that would top this list? D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly and Roy Dotrice will forever live in cinematic history in this movie that ticks all the boxes in several genres: romantic comedies, sports and the 1990s. Frosty, frigid ice princess? Check. Washed up hockey player? Yep. Mutual antagonism that inevitably leads to sexual tension? For sure. Add a training montage, gruff Russian coach, Olympic competition, tragic misunderstandings and poor communication skills, frizzy hair, every camera trick in the book to hide that the leads can't do anything more than stand on ice, a championship-winning move and, of course, toe picks, and you've got yourself the most re-watchable ice skating movie of all time. 
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Amy Antonation knows that street tacos are infinitely superior to tacos that come covered in squiggles of crema, and she will stab you with her knitting needles if you try to convince her otherwise.
Contact: Amy Antonation