Leah G. (Leahbelle) from NIPOMO, CA Reviewed on 9/22/2019...
This is a well-acted drama with an uplifting ending about courage and determination and the willingness to overcome all odds.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
K. K. (GAMER) Reviewed on 9/3/2019...
Watched over the weekend! Slow but solid true story plotline. Jonny Lee Miller at his best!
Kenneth S. from PINSON, AL Reviewed on 3/21/2013...
A very good movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Valerie P. from ATLANTA, GA Reviewed on 3/12/2010...
If you are a Jonny Lee Miller fan and a professional cycling fan, this is an enjoyable movie for you. I am both, so have chosen to keep the copy I recently received.
Set in the early 1990s, the movie is based on the true story of Graeme Obree, a Scot who lives in a small towne with his wife and owns a failing bicycle shop. He proceeds to build a bicycle out of old machine parts and uses that to win the 1 hour world record (for longest distance ridden in a velodrome.) Unfortunately, Graeme continues to develop bipolar disorder.
Well acted, this film give the viewer a good, general overview of the true store of what happened to Mr. Obree.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of the most exciting cinema experiences of my 51 years
John Frame | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 08/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm just home from enjoying one of the most exciting cinema experiences of my 51 years. As a recreational cyclist, and having trained hard and at least attempted racing, I knew that I would enjoy a film which focused on the life of a real athlete - rather than a fictional styling (Breaking Away) or one race (Hell On Wheels).
With 50% Scot blood in my veins I felt at home with the voices and scenery, but I found myself quickly intensely involved with the characters and swept away by the quality of the cinematography and the stunning surround sound. I've pre-ordered the DVD - but this is the very definition of big screen cinema entertainment.
In the late night screening I was lucky to have a whole row to myself - so no one witnessed my emotional gasps, or the times during the races when I was literally shaking with excitement.
I loved the way that Graeme's struggle with manic depression is given respectful depth - especially since his illness was an integral part of what drove him obsessively to achieve. Too few films deal effectively with the stress and reality of being bipolar. We need to see that he is loved, respected and supported as living with a mental illness, but also that he can accept polite active intervention.
This is a remarkable story - extremely well told. Full praise to all of the cast - especially Jonny Lee Miller, who looks and lives the part and to Brian Cox, one of Britain's greatest dramatic actors (see "The Lost Language Of Cranes").
I've read that the film is a more than adequate precis of Graeme's story, so I'm very much looking forward to reading his autobiography as well."
Stunning little movie - more about a battle with depression
D. Stuart | Auckland NZ | 01/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Flying Scotsman seems to polarise Amazon buyers, and those expecting a rip-roaring cycle-racing story are clearly frustrated by the actual drama, which is of a driven individualist who, using a home-made bicycle (even using parts from a washing machine) breaks the world's endurance record in a time trial that had cyclists everywhere in awe. Who was this man we'd never heard of?
But the cycling exploits, which are as much about the loneliness of training and the head-butting frustration of dealing with sports officials, takes Obree to the point of suicide, and a long wrestle with manic depression. On this note, the film is unbelievably authentic, and there's a scene - actually when Obree is being feted by fans - when you can tell his brain has, what I'd say, "just slipped off the face of his own life."
What drove Obree? It was a painful lack of self-confidence instilled by years of bullying and by precious little help from his own father, a policeman.
As with many trues stories of depression, what anchors Obree is the support of his incredible wife, and the support of his small circle of loyal friends: here compacted into one joyous character who is like a beacon in the dour, overcast Scottish social landscape inhabited by Obree. This movie absolutely nails the realities of depression, and is one of the most honest small movies I've seen in a long time. Yeah, I wept.
If you're looking for an exciting cycle race movie, no, this is not the one for you, but if you want a movie that takes you into the sometimes dark world of the human soul, be prepared for one tough ride. The glory of this story is that Obree climbed out of the worst of his depression (he still battles with it) but in doing so in this movie he shows us that human achievement can often be quite detached from one's sense of personal success. As this inspirational story shows: a world record didn't satisfy Obree's demons.
Incidentally, for those who wonder: the film was made with Obree's own input, and he actually supplies the close-ups in the beautifully shot time-trial sequences."
Prof J | Port Jefferson, NY USA | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just got back from a trip to Scotland--my first visit--and saw this film on the plane (Virgin Atlantic). Fabulous movie! I'm not Scots or a bicycler, but just loved it--beautifully filmed, wonderful acting, a great movie experience. I can't wait to get the DVD and watch it again with my family. Unfortunately I saw it on a small screen on the plane, but it was still terrific. The original soundtrack was also excellent. It was especially nice watching this on a trip to Glasgow, where it was filmed. Highly recommended for the cinematography, great acting, sensitive portrayal of Obree's depression, and the personal relationships that help him to succeed. Suitable for kids over about 8 or 10 in my opinion, one little bit with bad language (the f* word, said once). Very original film."
Good Movie - For Cyclists
GGW | Washington, DC United States | 11/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the hardest nuts to crack in the genre of sports films is how to make a good film about cycling. Breaking Away got about as close as you can get, but that was really more about growing up and coming of age, and cycling was but the vehicle for the story. Graeme Obree's story is not only a cycling story, but a story about one of the most peculiar aspects of the sport - the World Hour Record and track cycling in general. I think the film did as good a job as possible at telling the story, and making it as accessible as possible to a wide audience without making cycling insiders groan with disgust. I think some cycling outsiders will be a bit stumped and confused by it. Apparently, much of the details of Obree's life are tweaked for the movie, which is unfortunate.
I was seriously annoyed to see that the Union Cycliste International and the various officials (Verbruggen?) of the organization that made Obree's challenge so miserable were not able to be named by name. I hope they were in the book, but I suppose the filmmakers had legal reasons not to name them. They were not even allowed to use the actual rainbow champion jersey that Obree won fair and square - twice. It is even worse in hindsight when you realize that at the same time that the UCI were hassling Obree, the sport was rotting from the inside with doping. What are your priorities, UCI?
The actors, Boyd and especially Cox, are excellent. As is Laura Fraser, who play's Obree's wife and embodied the spirit of the wonderful supporting spouses that stand behind and believe in so many athletes chasing a dream."
Not a bad movie, but simplifies the story a bit too much
Shay Elkin | 10/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Professional cycling is a very demanding sport, and the hour record is probably the hardest of cycling achievements. Without the help of the peloton and unaffected by the elements, the cyclist must race alone against both the clock and himself.
This movie tells the story of Graeme Obree, who rose to fame by breaking this record. But instead of highlighting his superhuman effort, made even harder by his clinical depression, this movie reduces it to an "ordinary" Cinderella story.
It's fun and heartwarming to watch -- the acting by Jonny Lee Miller, Brian Cox and the rest of the cast is superb, the cinematography and the soundtrack are quite good as well.
Some parts of the story, like the struggle between Obree and the UCI is wonderfully played, but watching the movie, I kept feeling that something is missing for me: the realization of exactly how amazing Obree's effort was, and what a superman he must be, overcoming his illness and transcending the abilities of the human body, to a record of 52.713km in a hour."