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Liyla Litvak is the most decorated female fighter pilot of all time as a fighter ace in World War II. She shot down 12 German planes for the Soviet Union, garnering her the name "The White Rose" of Stalingrad and ace of The Night Witches.
Born into a legendary racing family, jockeys Damien Oliver and his brother, Jason, followed in their father's footsteps. Ray Oliver died tragically in a racing accident when the boys were young. But racing was in their blood, and Damien in particular inherited his father's gifts. His eye was on the greatest championship of them all, the prestigious Melbourne Cup. After years of training, he was ready. Damien would ride the powerful but temperamental Media Puzzle, under the watch of the great Irish trainer Dermot Weld. Some were not so sure about Media Puzzle's chances, but Weld was confident that the great jockey and spirited horse would make an unbeatable combination. As racing day approached, horses, jockeys, trainers, owners, fans and the media from around the globe descended on Melbourne. Weld's fiercest rival, Sheikh Mohammed, the Crown prince of Dubai, sent his best horses, anxious for a Melbourne Cup win. The news channels were filled with talk and speculation about Damien and ... Written by
This is a true story based on the 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race. As a Brit although I'm aware of the Melbourne Cup I didn't know of this particular story. It's a modestly budgeted film but the intriguing and fantastic story more than makes up for that. I was a bit put off by the relatively low rating (5.6) before I watched it but it's a far far better film than that rating suggests.
With a well paced and easy to follow plot it's a touching tale with plenty of weepy moments but also interspersed with great moments of triumph. It has a decent cast and is well acted throughout with a top performances from Brendan Gleeson and Stephen Curry. It maybe is a little slow to get going so you will need a bit of patience at the beginning. However once it hits it's stride it does keep you riveted.
The story has all the necessary ingredients this genre needs. Whilst not as good as the brilliant Seabiscuit, this is a very good entry to the genre. If you enjoy these kind of movies then you really can't go wrong watching this.
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