Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Monday, 6 September 2010
Chariots of Fire
Opening on a beach with a group of barefoot runners, Hugh Hudson's Chariots of Fire gave Vangelis the international fame he still has today as his electronic score became one with sporting excellence.
The film (based on a true story) follows Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a Jewish sprinter, and Eric Liddel (Ian Charleson), his devout Christian rival, as they struggle for national and personal honour less than a decade since World War I. As they train for the 1924 Olympics, values of sacrifice and fair play are prominent, though there is still much emphasis on the wonderful physical grace of the well trained sprinter. Over the course of this journey Abrahams hires Arab-Italian trainer Sam Mussabini (Ian Holm), both sprinters leave their Cambridge masters (John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson) speechless by their sheer speed, and the respective competition sparks their teammates' success.
Ultimately concluded with triumph and redemption Chariots of Fire is a film about athleticism with religious conviction, though Liddel and Abrahams choose to engage their time, rather than be religious zealots (although Liddel - in both the film and real life - switched events from the 100 metres to the 400 metres as the 100 is on Sunday and he refuses to run on the Sabbath). The film deservedly won the Oscar for Best Picture as it is, in all aspects, classic British Cinema, with barely anything Hollywood about it - no special effects and the minimum amount of camera trickery - which marks it as a simple, yet powerful drama, similarly to many classic British films from the days of black-and-white.
Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, John Gielgud, Lindsay Anderson, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige, Struan Rodger, Nigel Davenport, Patrick Magee, David Yelland, Peter Egan.
Oscars: Best Picture (David Puttnam), Best Director (Hugh Hudson), Best Screenplay (Colin Welland), Best Costume (Milena Canonero), Best Original Score (Vangelis).
Oscar nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Ian Holm), Best Editing (Terry Rawlings).