The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.
Filmed over four years, a portrait of up-and-coming British sprinters in training and competition on the eve of the 2012 Olympics, and a deeply personal account of their lives as they strive towards their dreams.
Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They're involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia. All is ... See full summary »
1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn't possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn't possess, their attraction thus sexual as ...Written by
Hemingway matures in the course of this film--and as an actress takes some risks
"Personal Best" opens with a beautiful shot: a lone spot of sweat on the cement as the camera pans slowly upwards to Mariel Hemingway's tense profile as she prepares for a race. Soon afterward, however, the actress opens her mouth and out comes this little girl voice with a puny range. It's only natural to think this is going to be a tough role for Hemingway to pull off, but I believe she has done it. Gay-themed dramas are always something of a risk for the actors involved, yet Hemingway takes her sprinting character from naive mouse to sexy girlfriend to adult in the course of "Personal Best" and becomes a better, stronger actress in the process. Although an excessively barbed film with two gratuitous sub-plots (both involving men: a manipulative coach and an eleventh-hour boyfriend for Mariel), the picture has great '70s atmosphere, good race scenes, some funny, raunchy humor, and an even-handed, focused look at two women in love (lesbian lover Patrice Donnelly is a very moody cuss, but that's certainly no reason to drag in the boyfriend, which is where the movie starts hedging its bets). Two-hours-plus of Mariel Hemingway may sound like too much, but she's very good here; she carries most of this film on her shoulders and pulls off some very tricky sequences. This was her own 'personal best'. **1/2 from ****
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