Before watching The Program, I said to myself: "It's always the same. I think I'm not going to like a sports movie because I'm not interested in the sport in question, but I generally end up liking them because the sport is just an excuse to tell stories about internal strength and triumph over adversity". And, to a certain point, my prediction was true; however, I unfortunately didn't end up liking The Program very much. Don't misunderstand me. The Program is well acted and solidly directed by Stephen Frears, who keeps a sober point of view which doesn't judge Lance Armstrong for his bad ethic decisions, even though they aren't justified either; Frears just shows the facts with the talented vision which distinguishes his filmography (by the way, my favorite films of it so far are Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity and Dirty Pretty Things). Regarding the cast, Ben Foster brings a solid performance, playing Armstrong in a pragmatic and realistic way, while the rest of the cast also makes a good work, highlighting Chris O'Dowd and Guillaume Canet. So, why wasn't I left very satisfied by The Program? Because I didn't find the story particularly interesting. It might be so for the fans of cycling, but the facts are so simple and linear that they could have been told in 10 minutes of documentary footage. In other words, the story lacked the necessary "punch" in order to capture my emotions; or maybe, I was right from the beginning, and the problem was my ignorance regarding everything related to cycling. Anyway, I think I can give it a slight recommendation mostly to fans or haters of Armstrong's and to those who like cycling. For the rest of the audience, better read the article on Wikipedia; the effect will be the same as the one I had while watching this movie, with the difference that you will have to invest much less time.
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