Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Miracle at Oxford|
Actors: Josh Lucas, Dominic West
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
MIRACLE AT OXFORD stars Josh Lucas (SWEET HOME ALABAMA) and Dominic West (THE FORGOTTEN) in the inspirational account of a team rising to meet the ultimate challenge of winning back its honor! To Oxford University, "The Bo... more »
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Reviewed on 2/3/2014...
This movie is an everlasting favorite. Our American athletes did not behave well. Still, this is a very inspiring film, based on the true story of "The Game". Great scenery, great rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge!!
Now wait a minute...it's actually a good rowing movie!
A viewer | NJ | 02/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, it might help to know something about rowing. I suspect that the majority of viewers of this film will be rowers, or at least the majority of people who appreciate it will be. And yes, I'm a rower. This is the (largely) true story of the 1987 Boat Race mutiny at Oxford, based on the book by the coach, Dan Topolski. The actors apparently trained for 6 months to learn how to row, and overall did a pretty fair job of it. While purists (as exist with every sports movie) can complain about some things (rowing nuances: like if they're going so damn fast, why aren't they clearing their puddles in the beautiful overhead shot near the end? And why are there hatchet blades [first introduced in 1991, and not even ubiquitous until a few years later] being used by the Cambridge crew in 1987?), it does a pretty good job, and it's nice to see a good rowing movie for a change (example of bad rowing movie: Oxford Blues). This English movie was originally released in 1996 as "True Blue"; one suspects that its recent DVD release in the US under its current name is indeed an attempt to capitalize on the success of "Miracle." But the story is based on fact (even though there are opposing viewpoints), and the sequence of events actually happened, including the Disney ending. The ringer Americans in the film are portrayed as major jerks, but there is minor redemption at the end for one; and again, this was certainly how Topolski saw it, and may have been as it really was. I also suspect that, unlike football, baseball, and basketball movies, just tossing out rowing terminology will be gibberish to the average viewer, as most people have at least a passing acquaintance with our most popular sports, but rowing remains, in this country at least, a bit more esoteric. I imagine this was less of a problem in the UK, where the Boat Race is a major televised spectacle (sort of like the Super Bowl) and British rowing icons are respected, revered, and knighted (witness Sirs Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent). So this film is doomed to be less well understood on these shores. But, while not outstanding in its writing and tying up loose ends, it's a very good movie, with tremendous on the water scenes, and reasonably well-acted. For anyone with a passing knowledge of the sport who is looking for a good (and true) tale, this is a worthwhile way to pass 2 hours. You may even want to watch it while erging*---might make that less painful!
*Erging: The verb developed from the machine, the rowing ergometer, known to all rowers as more of a torture device. They are shown in the movie as well."
One of the better rowing movies
Paula Berman | Phoenix, AZ | 03/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can vouch for the previous reviewer's suggestion of watching this while erging, because that's exactly what I did this morning. And, the true test, I kept finding myself pulling hard without even realizing it at strategic points in the plot.
I think it would be an OK film for non-rowers, but not a great one. Some of the characters are hard to tell apart and I haven't exactly figured out why the movie needed the priest character. Also, most of the Americans are stereotypically one-dimensional.
As a rower, I very much appreciated that they got the terminology right - they may not have cleared their puddles, but the coach commented on them. (In a good eight, when stroke seat's oar hits the water, the boat will be past the puddles left by bow seat's oar on the previous stroke.) The rowing wasn't quite world-class but was much better than in most rowing movies, not that there are all that many others.
The scenery is very nice to watch as well, both the towery spires of Oxford and the convincingly fit (especially in the brief shower scenes!) rowers."
I'd rather do a 2K piece. . .
Greg H | 04/26/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was excited to find this movie at my local video store this weekend - to be honest, I had never heard of the film before seeing it on the shelf. I almost wish I had left it there, though.
I rowed for my college while studying at Oxford more than 10 years ago ("We love you Worcester, oh yes we do. . ."), so I understand the sentiment behind the Boat Race, the importance of rowing in Oxford, the feeling of many Oxford students towards Americans and the lingo of rowing in Oxford (different from "crew" in the US). Accordingly, I was all set to be excited by this film.
Unfortunately, the acting was as wooden as the blades they used in the race, the story was thin, and by 2/3 of the way through the movie, I resorted to fast-forwarding to the rowing scenes.
I would suggest this movie for those people who spent time at Oxford and want to see scenes of early morning outings, Crew Dinners and other little vignettes that will remind them of their stint.
Otherwise, I'd take a pass. Oxford Blues is more entertaining.