Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Invictus' - South Africa remains undefeated

Last week saw the international release of Clint Eastwood's latest movie, 'Invictus' (which means undefeated or unconquerable). It tells the Story of South Africa's 1995 Rugby World Cup win, along with the fascinating socio-political backdrop of the time. It stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar. Morgan Freeman may very well win an Oscar for this role.
The budget for the film was close to $US 60mil (That is over R420mil). And while the leading actors were Americans, most of the cast, production and content are South African. The film is another amazing show-case for South Africa, and is being (mostly) well received. In keeping with the actual 1995 final, Ellis Park was used for the rugby scenes, as were many other South African locations and backdrops.

Here are some of the positive comments:

"Invictus is an amazing, true story. I saw the film at a press screening but I plan to see Invictus again with my family because I want my children to see a story about leadership" (Michelle Lamar of My Gloss)

"But at its most powerful, "Invictus" operates on another plane entirely, as a depiction of pluralism at its most dynamic, unruly and inspiring. Most films trace the transformation of an individual protagonist, as he or she embarks on a quest and emerges irrevocably changed. Here, that character is South Africa itself, as Mandela tries mightily to wrench a country riven by tribal division and racism into a future of healing and peace" (Anne Hornaday of The Washington Post)

"As another Oscar season kicks into gear, Clint Eastwood returns with his annual contribution to Hollywood's self-esteem, in this case a solidly uplifting historical drama about President Nelson Mandela and South Africa's bid to win the Rugby World Cup in 1995" (Tom Charity of CNN)

"In classic Clint Eastwood style, "Invictus" is a film that not only demonstrates Mandela's genius but Eastwood's as well" (Denny Wayman of Christian Post)

"Audiences in North America will walk out of the theatre on a high, touched by the scenes of blacks and whites hugging each other at South Africa's improbable triumph at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, inspired by Nelson Mandela himself" (The Globe and Mail)

"Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus” benefits from having the weight of history, the thrill of sport and a nuanced performance by Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela"(Melena Ryzik of New York Times' Carpetbagger)

"It's a crafty film, made in the conciliatory spirit of the statesman Eastwood sees in Mandela" (Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune)

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