Movie Wednesday: Ice Girls
by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum
After sustaining a serious knee injury during a figure skating competition, fifteen-year-old Mattie Dane isn’t sure she can continue skating, especially after her mother loses her job and the family has to relocate away from Mattie’s training rink. In her new town, Mattie finds a new friend, another figure skater named Heather, as well as a new rink and a new coach who helps her to regain her confidence. But when Mattie decides to skate again, it drives a wedge between her and Heather, and their friendship turns to on ice rivalry. With sectionals looming, Mattie must learn to persevere as a competitor and repair her friendship with Heather as the two prepare to skate against each other.
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Ice Girls is a 2016 sports movie and a heartwarming family film. Its themes include learning the value of perseverance, family bonds, and the importance of friendship.
Not everything has to be high tragedy and drama or an adaptation of classic literature in order to have value. “Feel good” movies are also an important part of building family culture and a language rich environment. It’s alright to snuggle up with some popcorn and brownies and just watch a fun, uplifting film simply ’cause it feels nice. And often times, profound and moving themes can be found in movies thought to be “light” entertainment, and Ice Girls is just such a one.
So, maybe it’s time to snuggle up on the comfy couch with some snacks and watch some figure skating with Ice Girls! It’s also timely since the Grand Prix Series, a key part of the figure skating season, is getting ready to start.
- Sportsmanship is the practice of being fair and kind towards one’s competitors in a sport. At which points in the film do you think Mattie and Heather demonstrate good sportsmanship and at which points do they show poor sportsmanship? Explain your answers.
- Heather’s mother is shown throughout the film to be controlling, domineering, and belittling towards her daughter. Do you think this is the cause of some of Heather’s bad behavior in the film? Explain why or not.
- Well-written characters have flaws and demonstrate growth over the course of a story. For example, Mattie is shown sometimes giving up too soon and turning that into bitterness. She shows growth by learning to overcome those flaws with perseverance and kindness. Which other characters have flaws and show growth in the story? Explain your answer.
- The film ends with Mattie winning sectionals so that she can go on to nationals, but the film doesn’t cover whether or not Mattie actually succeeds at becoming a champion. So, what do you think happens after the credits?
Olympian Jason Brown Breaks Down Figure Skating’s Six Jumps – Wall Street Journal YouTube video
International Skating Union – The first 100 years – Part 1/3 – ISU Archives – Skating ISU YouTube video
Regular People Try Olympic Figure Skating (With Kristi Yamaguchi) – BuzzFeedBlue YouTube video
Amy Frantz is a Brave Writer alum. When not over-analyzing Star Wars, in her spare time you will find her yelling about figure skating.