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This is a really fantastic film made right by the amazing Clint
Eastwood and the amazing Morgan Freeman. They both add a classic to
their already legendary film careers. Matt Damon deserves some kudos
for this movie too. This movie is very inspirational. This movie should
inspire other people to be like Nelson Mandela in this film.
This movie takes place when Mandela is released from prison and takes office as President of South Africa. He supports the Springboks rugby team when no one else does. He tells them to win it all at the World Cup. He wants them to win so the country can unite with each other.
The acting is fantastic. I wanted Morgan Freeman to win the Oscar so bad but some girl won instead. Matt Damon proves that he's a great actor.
I am not a fan of rugby but I saw this film just to see Morgan Freeman and the brilliant directing of Clint Eastwood. This is an amazing film. I rate this movie 10/10.
Invictus is an excellent drama based on a true story with great performances by the two lead actors who really bring their A game to this movie. Director Clint Eastwood continues to show audiences and critics that he's one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood with this one. Morgan Freeman is superb as always as Nelson Mandela who after being released from prison soon goes on to become the President of South Africa. Believing he can bring his divided people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela enlists the help of South African rugby Captain Francois Pienaar to make a run for 1995 World Cup Championship Match. Freeman is so convincing as the newly elected president Mandela. He turns in another great performance among many proving his talent as a veteran actor. Matt Damon is equally impressive as Pienaar the rugby Captain who rallies his teammates to achieve what seems impossible. Damon may not be as tall as the real Pienaar but like Freeman he becomes the character and turns in a solid performance none the less. Damon and Freeman played off each other very well in their scenes together making the growing friendship between their characters believable. The rest of the relatively unknown cast are also very good as the supporting characters in their limited screen time. I can't think of too much I didn't enjoy about this film because Invictus was much better than expected. I mean I heard it was supposed to be good but Invictus still impressed me with how well Eastwood put it together which like many other films I'm sure wasn't easy. The pacing is fine except the 134 minute running time did seem a little slow at times and the satisfying ending I sort of suspected but those are two tiny flaws because the good more than outweighs the bad in this one. The real locations they used added a lot to the film making you feel for the characters and their situation. The movie in the beginning had a documentary type feel as well which worked in it's favor. So overall if you're looking for inspiring drama based on a true story, Invictus is the movie for you. I plan to see this again sometime because I believe it's worth seeing more than once. It's a film about how the power of hope and forgiveness can unite country. Invictus has a similar compelling story, drama, a little humor, and exceptional performances by the cast (especially Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon) who make this movie worth the time to watch.
Based upon a true story.
After almost 30 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela (Freeman) becomes President of South Africa and makes it his mission to forgive his suppressors and to unite the country, both black and white, through the sport of Rugby.
Rugby. Almost like American football except there don't appear to be many rules, no pads, no helmets, no instant replay, no forward pass and no cheerleaders. Bummer.
Invictus is a poem by William Ernest Henley and the last two lines sum up everything: I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. Mandela used the poem to not give in or give up to anything while he was in prison regardless of the hardships he endured there.
This is a class act on a grand scale and may be Clint Eastwood's most important film. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon deserved the Oscar nominations as they and the entire cast were outstanding.
Maybe the concentration on Rugby was too much and nothing was mentioned about the other duties of the new South African government, but President Mandela needed to unify the country before he could feel confident the whole country was behind him on other matters. It worked. He and the South Africans win. Wouldn't it be nice if nations could use sports to vent whatever they feel they need to vent. And, if they lose, well, there's always next year.
We didn't get any insight into Mandela's daughter who couldn't get over the white South Africans as also part of the new government. She kept remembering that they were the ones who threw the Mandela family out of their house. After the Rugby match, did she see the wisdom of what President Mandela accomplished with Rugby? This was not addressed.
Nevermind playing Rugby, watching parts of a Rugby game in a movie isn't easy either, you know. I did some damage to my knee and right elbow watching some of the hits. I could become a Rugby fan if they had more rules, pads, helmets, instant replay, the forward pass and, of course, cheerleaders (but, Bob, that's American Football). Exactly.
Violence: Yes, Rugby is a violent game. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Believe I only heard one F-bomb
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Clint Eastward has done it again, His excellent direction & ability to
create such perfect performances from his cast makes you overlook any
possible imperfections in this script,
Anthony Parkham wrote the screenplay based on the book by John Carlin. This is supposedly a true story of a South African Rugby team winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup from a superior team.
It also involves the inspiring influence of the South African President Nelson Mandella.
The above plot description many not be enough by itself to see this. The main reason to seen INVICTUS is to watch 2 of the best characterizations & performances. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, are Nelson Mandella & Francois Piennaar .
I was not seeing 2 familiar actors, I was seeing Mandell & the Coach.
The Rugby scenes are very exciting It (to me) is a rougher sport than Soccor or American Football.
The film was made in South Africa in actual settings for some scenes.
The 133 minute running times goes fast,You will be absorbed by what you see.
Ratings: **** (out of 4) 98 points (out of 100) IMDb 10 (out of 10)
Allow me to lead you, says Morgan Freeman quietly but authoritatively
to his band of party men who are voting for scrapping the Springbok
label for South African Rugby team. It is a powerful and defining
moment of the film. After taking over as the President of South Africa
in 1994, Nelson Mandela sees a huge opportunity to project his country
as a multiracial democracy to the world during the 1995 Rugby World
Cup. The film, based on John Carlin's book 'Playing the Enemy', is a
very poignant delineation of how he goes about this task. Much to the
chagrin of his close aides, he invests not an inconsiderable amount of
time to befriend the Rugby team captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon).
In a very memorable sequence of the film, the President invites the
Captain to his office for tea and the two exchange notes on leadership.
Invictus offers totally credible lessons on leadership, without even a
wee bit of pontification. Winning the World Cup becomes a metaphor for
uniting a fractured nation.
Invictus (Latin for invincible) is a short poem by William Ernest Henley that Nelson Mandela had with him when he was incarcerated for 27 years. He hands over this inspiring poem to Francois before the start of the World Cup.
The game sequences, and there are plenty of them, are shot and edited with the right amount of tension and clutch your eyeballs completely.
Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela with great dignity and compassion. Matt Damon as the overawed captain is excellent. Director Clint Eastwood has extracted powerful, yet unobtrusive performances.
Invictus is a little gem of a film. It is hard to stay unaffected during its two odd hours. You are not human if you are unmoved. If I had my way I would make Invictus mandatory viewing for all the politicians of the world.
Being a Clint Eastwood movie, I definitely had high expectations going
into this one. And the movie more than lives up to ones expectations in
all aspects. It is based on true events related to the initial struggle
of Nelson Mandela to form a 'Rainbow Nation' when he became the
President of South Africa. The storyline is pretty simple backed by
good performances and direction. Also the movie unravels at a good
pace. It has its own moments of joy and triumph.
It is truly one of the most inspirational movies one would ever come across. Also the fact that its a Clint Eastwood movie, makes it even more special. A modest 8/10 from my side.
This is a movie about reconciliation and leadership. In South Africa of the apartheid era, unbelievable outrageousness and tyranny against black people was the national policy. Nelson Mandela was a leader of the guerrilla against the government, who was arrested in 1962. Mandela was released in 1990 by then president de Klerk. The movie starts from that day. White people feel fearful about the release. The fear had reason. Most countries where black took over white ruling in the past, white got South Africa revenged and their land and properties were striped down, and those uneducated black people could not run the country. Mandela, however, adopted reconciliation as the principle to run the country, and he got the idea to make the rugby World Cup Game as the chance for the national reconciliation. An outstanding leader ponders and considers deeply how to achieve the final goal of the organization, and once he decides to do something, he works unflinchingly without hesitation. The movie clearly portrays how Mandela, acted by Morgan Freeman, appealed the people for reconciliation and forgiveness, and made the people around him, particularly the team captain, work for it. Freeman perfectly acted this actually existing person. I recommend this to everyone around me.
Clint Eastwood has got to be my favorite director. No one can tell a
narrative like he can. A good story, straight up with no frills in
direction or extravagant special effects, and actors giving it all
they've got either because Eastwood tells them how to or because they
know they're working with a legend. Man, I hope he doesn't retire.
I can't believe I teared up in a movie about rugby! Okay it's not all about rugby but still!
The movie's about Nelson Mandela and the significance of the rugby world cup in that first term of his presidential tenure. I've heard of the man but honestly, before this movie I couldn't even tell you who he was and what he did. Eastwood provided sufficient background to the story of Mandela and South Africa without dragging the movie down with too much history, and he kept a good pace so that I wasn't never bored.
I can't say I know more about rugby now, but with a sports movie, you don't need to know the sport to feel the emotions that a good movie captures from the athletes and spectators (hence my tearing up at the big finale).
Having never seen Mandela on TV, I can't say if Morgan Freeman did a good imitation, but no matter - he's a consummate actor who embodied the character. I wonder if Matt Damon got nominated because this is his least showy role ever. It's pretty cool how he almost disappeared into the performance but I don't think that the role is substantial enough to warrant an Oscar win.
Diane and I were both moved by all that we saw during Invictus. I congratulate Eastwood for attempting, what to me, was an unlikely story in that rugby is a sport that few Americans know anything about although it is hugely important here in Australia as well as in New Zealand just across the Tasman. To select a film about a man who is truly the savior of his country and then form the story around an international game was a tremendous gamble but because of Eastwood's command of the film art form, the movie was an amazing visual, emotional and intellectual package. The story of Nelson Mandela is in and of itself easily one of the greatest stories of humanity in and then to wrap that story around something as unlikely as South Africa's participation in a World Cup rugby game speaks volumes about the director's competence as well as that of the script writer, the actors and the original novel from which the story was taken. Very early in the film you are struck by Mandela's political genius; we in the modern world are unused to seeing a person so sensitive to the needs of his country that he can rise above his own needs. We are unused to a person that is so sensitive to the greater movements around him that he can act for that greater need. When you remember that Mandela spent 16 years of his life in prison making little rocks out of big rocks then the enormity of this man's genius is almost beyond comprehension. When he sees what needs to be done and then goes through the motions of trying to make people who can only, because their mind is not equal to his, see their private histories rather than his embracing human view then one is involved in the tension of all that has been reduced to one game of rugby. This movie is transcending and must be watched.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Invictus is set during the early 90s as Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman)
is released from prison and then elected into office as the President
of South Africa. South Africa at this time is divided by the contempt
the blacks and whites hold for each other. Despite the objections of
his office, Mandela pursues the game of Rugby as a means of uniting the
country again. The national team is a disgrace though, lacking the
ability to compete in matches, despite the best efforts of the captain
Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon). Before he can address the issues of
crime and poverty, Mandela views the game as a means of establishing an
initial platform of unity for blacks and whites to live peacefully
together again. He meets with Francois to inspire him to lift his team
so that they can compete with some pride for the 1995 World Cup.
As an American filmmaker, Clint Eastwood came into this project with very little knowledge of Rugby Union. He stated that he had an uncle who played in the twenties but he insisted on researching the game himself by watching the students at The University of California at Berkeley practice. Invictus, the word meaning invincible in Latin, is far more than just a sporting film though. Rather, it is a examination of a country torn by conflict and the need for a passive resolution. When Mandela is told by a staff member that it is just a political calculation he states sharply that 'it is a human calculation', reflecting his concern for the lives of the individuals of his nation and the hope that the game can inspire. As with his most recent films, the skill that Eastwood brings to Invictus is indicative of his talent and experience in film-making. The film was photographed on location in Cape Town and Johannesburg by Eastwood's regular cinematographer Tom Stern and it looks particularly magnificent. The beautiful clean shots, long associated with Eastwood as a classicist filmmaker, have an expansive quality to them, projecting the harsh landscapes and the impoverished shanty homes. Eastwood has paced the film impeccably too, as despite the scope of the subject matter, it rarely lulls in its compelling nature, detailing the removal and reinstatement of the colours of the Springbok, the tension between Mandela's own security staff, Mandela's health and imprisonment and the gradual progression of the football team itself.
One of Eastwood's greatest assets as a director is the relationship he holds with his selection and control of his actors. Both Freeman and Damon are fine choices here. The former has a particular resemblance to the real Mandela and brings his physical fragility to the foray as well. His performance displays passion for his country but also smaller details, like the kindness and warmth he shows to his staff, to make him a more rounded reflection of Mandela. As this is not a autobiographical film about Mandela though, the relationship between his family is only hinted at and his voice is said by some to not be quite as accurate. Others have felt that his dialogue is too reflective of the films messages of liberating the country. Regardless, it is still highly contextual for Mandela to demonstrate to his plans and his vision for the country to his staff and doubters alike. Matt Damon has a near-perfect South African accent and he too physically enhances his role by bulking up to look like a Rugby player. He is surprisingly credible in this film, which along with The Informant! last year, demonstrates his range as more than just an action star.
The sporting scenes throughout Invictus have thankfully been filmed with as much precision as the rest of the film. Even if one does not understand the rules of Rugby, the frequent glances at the scoreboard during the matches ensure that it is still easy to understand. All of the matches are filmed with ferociousness, capturing the crunching tackles and thunderous hits. It is pleasing that Eastwood has shown his maturity here but not overloading these scenes with shaky hand-held cameras that distort ones view, like in other films. The tension here and the spectacle of some of the rapid passes and tries scored makes one question why the current state of Rugby isn't as fun or as exciting as this. Regardless of whether this seems like a conventional sporting rags to riches story, the themes and the message that are generated from this story are more significant than those regularly associated with the sporting genre. The way that an impoverished black child is allowed to move closer and closer to the radio of a white officers cop car over the course of the match is reflective of the excitement and national pride that the game brings to the country. It is certainly about more than just winning and coming out on top.
Invictus might not be as powerful or as hard-hitting as some of Eastwood's more challenging and devastatingly emotional films of recent years, but its heart is still firmly in the right place. The messages here are ones of universal interest, stressing Eastwood's more liberal views of recent years and the ability of nations of conflict to resolve their differences peacefully. This is a film that so many people will relish and respond to if they are willing to view this as more than just a film about Rugby. It is so much more thought provoking and politically aware than it may seem on the surface.
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