- 1 hr 38 min
Skateland is a heartwarming coming-of-age movie set in the 1980s in a small town in Texas. The film, directed by Anthony Burns, stars Shiloh Fernandez as Ritchie Wheeler, a carefree teenager who lives for the grind of the local roller skating rink, Skateland. The movie revolves around Ritchie and his group of close-knit friends as they struggle to come to terms with their high school graduation and the harsh realities of adulthood. The story begins with Ritchie's blissful summer days at Skateland, where he works as a skate guard along with his friends Brent (Heath Freeman) and Kenny (Taylor Handley). Ritchie spends his nights cruising along the rink, flirting with girls, and dreaming of a future beyond the mundane life in his small town. However, his idyllic existence is shattered when Skateland, the heart of the town, is threatened with closure. The looming threat of unemployment pales in comparison to the internal struggles each of the characters face. As the town prepares for a future that is uncertain, Ritchie grapples with personal demons. He discovers that his close friend Brent has enlisted in the military and will be leaving for basic training soon. His childhood crush, Michelle (Ashley Greene), returns to town, stirring up old feelings and memories. Meanwhile, Ritchie's parents' marriage is falling apart, and he is forced to face the possibility that his world is changing in ways he cannot control. Skateland is an intimate portrait of a lost era, blending nostalgia with the raw emotions of growing up. The movie paints a vivid picture of the 80s, using the fading roller skating rink and its colourful cast of characters to capture the zeitgeist of the time. The film is a poignant reminder of youthful innocence, the pains of transition, the bitter-sweetness of nostalgia, and the frustration of a life that is slipping through one's fingers. As Ritchie, Shilo Fernandez delivers an impressive performance, capturing the character's sense of angst and indecision with subtlety and grace. His co-stars, Ashley Greene and Heath Freeman, also deliver nuanced performances, providing the perfect balance between humour, drama, and romantic tension. Furthermore, the supporting cast adds depth and texture to the story, especially veteran actor James LeGros, who delivers a heart-wrenching portrayal of Ritchie's father. The film's soundtrack, a mix of 80s classics and original compositions, adds a layer of poignancy to the movie. The use of music is both subtle and effective, complementing the film's subdued pace and introspective tone. The cinematography is similarly impressive, capturing the faded grandeur of Skateland in a series of dreamy, nostalgic shots. In conclusion, Skateland is a beautiful ode to youth, friendship, and the power of nostalgia. The movie skilfully balances drama and tenderness, capturing the bittersweetness of growing up with sensitivity and grace. Fans of coming-of-age dramas will find much to love in Skateland, a movie that speaks directly to the heart.