My Life on Ice
|Ma vraie vie à Rouen|
Ma vraie vie à Rouen DVD cover
|Directed by||Olivier Ducastel
|Written by||Olivier Ducastel
Ma vraie vie à Rouen (The True Story of My Life in Rouen), is a 2002 movie by French directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, which tracks a year in the life of a teenage figure skater in a quasi-documentary, video diary style. It was released in 2003 in the USA under the title of My Life on Ice.
The film centers on Etienne (Jimmy Tavares), who lives in Rouen with his mother and grandmother and intends to take part in the national figure skating championship. For his 16th birthday, his grandmother gives him a digital camcorder as a present, which he starts to use immediately (supplying the introductory scenes of the movie).
Etienne films anything and everything around him — his family, his teacher Laurent (Jonathan Zaccaï), Ludovic (Lucas Bonnifait), his best friend, himself figure skating, the sea, steep cliffs. As for Ludovic and his geography teacher, it soon becomes apparent that his obsession with them is grounded in more than just artistic pursuits. Etienne's burgeoning homosexual tendencies become more and more clear both to him and the audience over the course of the movie.
Even though Etienne is determined to make this year "the year of love", the year when everything turns around for him, things do not go as well as anticipated. He makes a blunder in his figure skating performance and only achieves second place. And when he starts, very carefully, to talk to Ludovic about the possibility of two men being in love, Ludovic runs away.
In the final minutes of the film, the purpose of Etienne's video diary gets clear: Feeling he has failed in what he set out to do and being deeply hurt by Ludovic's resentment, Etienne decides to jump from the cliff and leave the camcorder (which he sets up to film his suicide) behind to explain to his family what he went through.
Luckily, a stranger walks by at that moment and notices the boy close to the cliff and his camera nearby. The final scene shows the stranger and Etienne in bed after sex, with Etienne seeming truly happy for the first time.
- Jimmy Tavares as Étienne
- Ariane Ascaride as Caroline, Étienne's mother
- Jonathan Zaccaï as Laurent, Étienne's teacher and his mother's boyfriend
- Hélène Surgère as Étienne's Grandmother
- Lucas Bonnifait as Ludovic, Étienne's best friend
- Hanako Bron as Vanessa, Ludovic's girlfriend
- Frédéric Gorny as the Young Man at the cliff
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