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|Index||31 reviews in total|
Being a relative of Graeme ( albeit fairly distant - his father and my mother were cousins)I knew the story well - I keep close contact with his Aunt ( My Mothers cousin)who would update me on how the "Scottish branch" of the family were doing. I followed Graemes career closely and remember vividly seeing his triumphs on the news. I knew about some of the issues he had to face in his life, the adversity that he had to overcome time and time again. Sitting down in a PACKED movie theatre in Christchurch NZ, I felt tremendously proud of him and e-mailed home straight away to pass on that message that, if he still has any doubts today, then I wanted him to know that, on the other side of the world, he packed a theatre out and, the chances are that, if he packed a theatre in tiny Christchurch then, he will have done so in Wellington, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne etc. Cycling is pretty popular here in the Southern Hemisphere and there were young kids in the audience who held him up as a hero. His honesty in writing his autobiography and allowing this film to be made, no holds barred is truly an inspiration because it shows that, if he can make it, become world champion twice, break the hour record, twice, without the major sponsorship and million pound technology of his contemparies, then so can they, the young lads starting out. Graeme, you were an inspiration and you still are, to MANY MANY people. And you have earned the admiration of many many people not only with your genius designs but with your honesty in facing your demons and confronting them head on. I know the Obree family continue to be very proud of you but, ultimately, you can be immensely proud of yourself and everything you have achieved. If the Cycling fraternity were to ever appoint an ambassador for the sport to get youngsters more interested in it - it really should be you. Watching the movie was painful at times but, ultimately I came out of the theatre very, very proud and I wish you and your family all the best for the future.
A fantastic portrayal of a true champion - who battled not only the
physical elements required for cycling but also mental illness to
become one of the greatest cyclists of all time. Johnny Lee Miller is a
revelation in the lead role and ably supported by Brian Cox and Billy
Boyd. Shame it is not on full release as this is a story that should be
heard, unlike other triumph against disaster sappy biopics which have
been allowed a wider release. Even if you are not interested in cycling
as a sport, this is more about the challenges life puts in your way on
the route to any goal and how single-mindedness and determination can
win the day but can also be derailed.
Go and see this if you can America - I know he was British but the film and the story speak for themselves.
An inspiring movie I had the pleasure of seeing at the Edinburgh film
festival. I was briefly in the same cycling club as Obree. I followed
his career and read his autobiography. I still cycle today and boy was
I pleasantly surprised at the twists, turns and intrigue which come out
in the movie; it gave me new perspectives on a complex and colourful
What Obree did was monumental and this film does him justice, shedding light on his inner struggles and showcasing what an innovative, committed and strong world beater the man is. Don't pigeon hole this as some kind of sports extravaganza - it is a highly entertaining look at the life of an entertaining and brilliant man.
First, this movie is much better than "Chariots of Fire," albeit
without the famous soundtrack. Second, this movie speaks to anyone who
has spent hours on a stationary bike, pedaled through verdant
countryside, or has challenged themselves to 100 mile day. Third, this
movie will resonant with those who've been forced to deal with
depression and survived.
I think the cinematography was terrific, except for some of the closeups of Obree on the oval. However, the shots of his front wheel and the tunnel vision which develop during a maximum effort are splendid.
While pushing personal limits of time and distance, there's no way a cyclist won't think about Obree's extreme effort and success.
As director Douglas MacKinnon said making a good sports film is difficult and the road is littered with heroic failures. This is a good film partly because it is about cycling, a minority sport every nuance of which is not ingrained on the public consciousness, and partly because it is a well made piece of work which tells an amazing story. It does take liberties with the Obree story as anyone who has read his book will notice, but these are generally fairly minor and do not detract from dramatic piece. The acting is universally great as you would expect from actors of the stature of Brian Cox, Stephen Berkoff etc, and Johnny Lee Miller does a superb job as tortured genius Graeme Obree. The message is uplifting by demonstrating that those who have had an unhappy childhood and suffer from a mental illness can go on and achieve a huge amount in life as Graeme did, despite many setbacks and intransigent officialdom.
Were this to have been a sports movie, it would have still been very much worth the ticket. However, the personal story and the battles he had to fight turned this into something so much more. I took my wife, my son and his girlfriend to see this and we all came away feeling the same. 3 of us knew so much about Graeme Obree, but my son's girlfriend had never heard of him, and has no interest in most sport, especially not cycling. That we all loved it says they got that balance right. The cast were excellent with Jonny Lee Miller playing Obree to perfection. Ably supported by Billy Boyd and Brian Cox and Laura Fraser as his wife. This film may do something to raise the profile of amateur cycling. However, even more importantly, it may highlight the issues associated with mental illness. Try to see it, you will not regret it.
What I found most enjoyable about this film is the way it straddles the
sport-biopic genres. It maintains the acute acting and psychological
fullness of a biopic, aided by a fantastic performance by Miller, while
being in keeping with the Hollywood highs and lows aspects of great
Those not interested in sport should not be put off by thinking this will be a typically superficial or one dimensional sports film. But those sporty types will also find plenty to satisfy them.
As a big cycling fan I was already well aware of the Obree story and I can assure people that is every bit as incredible if not more so than is shown in the film. Naturally the constraints of a film mean that the Obree story is cut short and we don't see how the Superman position was banned or Obree's subsequent depressions especially after his brother died (indeed his brother is completely missing from the film). But by choosing to limit the time scale it describes it allows time for greater detail particularly in investigated his relationship with the priest and Obree's wife.
Equally the film doesn't embellish the truth a great deal in order to increase the drama. Indeed the world record attempts are incredibly understated, as they should be. Obree was never well known in Britain despite being very popular on the continent. As a result the film isn't filled with cheering crowds but rather focuses the isolation he experienced within Scotland in spite of his amazing achievements.
I saw it in Aberdeen on Sat night, I wasn't really expecting much as sporting films are usually bordering on rubbish but it was very entertaining. Everyone quotes the bike "built from washing machine parts" but very seldom is Graeme Obree acknowledged as the superb (drug-free) athlete that he was. I would recommend it, although it does over simplify events, as cinema usually does, but it was 90 mins well spent. I hope Graeme benefits from its release. Her indoors also thoroughly enjoyed it even if it was very much, my choice of film. I would recommend it if you just enjoy a good story. In fact it is such a good tale that sometimes it is easy to forget that it is a true story and just how heroic Graeme Obree 's feats were.
Having read the book several years ago, and recalled the achievements of Graeme Obree back in the early nineties, I knew that this film would at least be inspiring. In some ways, this film reminded me of the last Scottish athlete to be given the nickname 'The Flying Scotsman', the great Eric Liddle. Both were criticised for their unorthodox styles, even though it gained them great success and honour. Both men, also engendered wide criticism, although for different reasons. The film is honest and direct, as it deals with issues like bullying and depression, which are suffered by so many. Like Obree, many people try to deal with such problems on their own. Jonny Lee Miller does well to portray the agony and ecstasy of professional competition. Laura Fraser(Ann Obree) plays his supportive wife, serenely, but with an underlying earthiness. His friend and manager Malky(Billy Boyd) follows his highs and lows. Douglas Baxter plays the wise local parish minister, Brian Cox, who offers his workshop and scrap metal, along with much needed moral support. Cox is almost a second father figure to young Obree. With the addition of the obvious high drama of the competitions, this film is superb.
I would seriously recommend seeing this film which has tremendous
performances from Brian Cox, Johnny Lee Miller and the rest of this
very strong cast.
I was very lucky to see it during the recent Edinburgh Film Festival and hopefully it will get distribution very soon. It certainly deserves to.
It tells the amazing story of Graeme Obree, a true living Scottish legend as he struggled with both his own situation and ultimately once wins against the cruel World Cycling Authorities.
Go see it!
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