The movie was Chariots of Fire. The dinner was Indian take-away from Taj Mahal. (It was a movie about England, after all.)
This was a good movie. There are problematic elements to it in some ways, yes, but overall, it’s good. It was creatively shot, for one thing. I feel like that alone made it stand out in interesting and noteworthy ways. Likewise, the whole narrative structure was kind of crazy (a flashback, a flashback within a flashback, a flashforward in the flashback…needless to say there was a great deal of flashing), but it worked. The ending shots of the crowd in the church shifting from early 20th century dress to late 1970s dress was very cool.
I run, so there were parts of this that I found interesting and fun. I don’t, nor have I ever, ran proper track events, so there’s that. But still, it stirs something in ya. Likewise, that soundtrack. It’s wonderful. I forgot how synth it was, but it’s great. And the whole musical score, mixing the iconic theme (that shot of the whole team running down the beach that bookends the film), with the Gilbert and Sullivan stuff was great, too.
The idea that this is a story of two men of different faiths who use running in some way to help them along their path in life is intriguing. The discrimination that Abrahams faces as a Jew is horrible and it’s really interesting to tell a story that basically explains how he wants to beat everybody at something to prove to them, and himself, and the world, that he’s great. The idea that Liddell won’t run on the Sabbath is a great plot device, but it just made me annoyed. That’s my own thing. I get it. It’s a question of ideals and having a personal code…and I did love that he told everyone who was in charge that he wasn’t going to do what they told him. THAT was great. But it still had a lot of limitations.
All that said, it was a bit strange to think of this as a Best Picture winner. After watching five of these, that stretch over five different decades, I can say I honestly don’t know what constitutes an Oscar Winning Best Picture. Maybe some pattern will emerge as I watch more of these, but wow…talk about things being all over the map.
Things I liked:
The soundtrack, the training montages, the shots of England and Scotland, the costumes.
Things I didn’t like:
There were two women in this film, neither one doing much more than complaining that the men want to run. That was pretty weak. It’s basically a story of how the rich can be so cool and do such great stuff. That was pretty weak.
Would I watch it again? No, probably not. Was it worth it? Sure. If you haven’t seen this, take a look. If you are a runner, or an anglophile, you’ll like parts of it.