2010 Oscars Challenge: Invictus

invictus-2009INVICTUS

Up For:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Invictus started off the night of the triple header at the Safari theater. As the longest film of the night, we planned on getting it out of the way. Invictus did not disappoint.

Morgan Freeman was a solid choice for Leading Actor. Put a picture of Nelson Mandela next to Morgan Freeman and you would think they were separated at birth. Freeman’s accent was consistent throughout the film, but not sure the accent fit Freeman’s normal demeanor. All other aspects of Freeman’s performance were completely expected from the seasoned performer. Not sure Freeman deserves the win in this category in comparison to Clooney & Bridges, but helps make Invictus an overall “feel good” film.

Matt Damon, plain and simply is hardly in this film. The beginning portion of the film is completely Matt Damon free. The end relies heavy on his involvement however, as the rugby team captain of the South Africa Springboks. Damon’s performance was lackluster, however. Not that Damon did not fit the part but there was little part to be had besides the few inspirational speeches given to his team. Keanu Reeves did that in The Replacements and in no way would he have deserved an Oscar nod for that performance. So far, Damon’s performance falls below the others viewed, with nothing against Matt Damon because he, like Freeman, makes this film well-rounded.

Acting awards aside, Invictus was an overall great film. The film accurately depicted the events of that era and depicted them well in an entertaining way, which was the film’s job and intentions. I would say this film succeeded. For the two hours spent viewing it, I was enthralled by the story and was able to pick up the symbolism between all the different groups and how they came together, all because of Nelson Mandela. Not every historical depiction can also be entertaining. One of the film’s only downfalls was making the coming together of the different cultures very simple, while I am sure in reality, the desegregation of South Africa was more grueling and painstaking. Damon’s family was able to get passed their hate for Mandela in the matter of a few scenes, even though his family was hardly involved what-so-ever. Cops were willing to let a young black boy sit on their car after minutes earlier shooing him (which was great for comic relief, but extremely unrealistic).

In the end, another great family film brought to the light by the Academy Awards, but I feel as though that is all I took from it and nothing more. I do not see either man taking home the award on Oscar night (not that seeing Freeman with the gold would both me). I would definitely watch this film again, as it takes the historical accurate film and combines it with the sports genre film to create a nice, even blend.

(14 FILMS TO GO)

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