Don't go into this one thinking you are watching a rugby film. From memory the last one of these that was any good was "Up & Under" with the then, Samantha Janus and even that was pretty dire. but this was different.
Where were you in 1995? I was leaving College, Drunk (most of the time) and really not bothered about politics or what was going on else where in the world. And that is why I had no clue going into see this film about what I was about to witness.
Its a film of 2 parts. Part 1 - Mandela released from prison and elected president of a very split South Africa. This is the politics bit. His own government & security divided between white and black and Mandela's ideas of complete forgiveness and the coming together of a nation. How does he do this, well that's Part 2. And it is beautifully done.
I am not a Rugby Fan, but I didn't need to be. I was totally drawn into the eye opening story of how this man manages to change the views of 43 million other south Africans and probably most of the rest of world along with it.
Early on he enlists the help of Pinnear (Damon) the SA Captain and makes him believe in what is possible with determination and belief. What unveils is a moving true story leading up to the crowning moment of the host nation of the 95' Rugby World cup. The good thing here is that being a true story its as predictable as "Titanic" but it does not matter. I knew who won but I didn't care, The story of how this team led my Pinnear under the support of Mandela changed the way a nation came together was epic. Morgan Freeman was excellent as Mandela and I am not sure if the film is too late for this years Oscar's but he's got my vote.
I can count 3 things in life that divide opinion with such emotion. Religion, Politics & Sport and for this film to cover 2 out of 3 and do it so brilliantly was a pleasure to see.
In Sport in the UK it's either "Red or Blue". In Politics its the same! (with a dash of Green & Yellow) but today I was Green & Gold. Go Boks!!!
I had a lump in my throat by then end. It was Beautiful. I could go on writing about this film. Discussing the casting, the excellent squabbles between the Presidents Security Staff but I wont. Go and see this film. Even if you don't like Rugby and you're a girl. The end is a given, but getting there is remarkable. Clint Eastwood Directs his best movie so far, even though "In the Line of fire" was ace and Damon & Freeman both show why they are (or in Damons case) fast becoming legends.
If I gave star ratings it would be 5* (but that's way too GMTV!!)
See this if...............You want to see Genius on Screen.