The true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.
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The Flying Scotsman is a feature film based on the remarkable true story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. In 1993, and as an unemployed amateur, Obree broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of scrap metal and parts of a washing machine. Written by
I'm just home from enjoying one of the most exciting cinema experiences of my 51 years. As a recreational cyclist, and having trained hard and at least attempted racing, I knew that I would enjoy a film which focused on the life of a real athlete - rather than a fictional styling (Breaking Away) or one race (Hell On Wheels).
With 50% Scot blood in my veins I felt at home with the voices and scenery, but I found myself quickly intensely involved with the characters and swept away by the quality of the cinematography and the stunning surround sound. I've pre-ordered the DVD - but this is the very definition of big screen cinema entertainment.
In the late night screening I was lucky to have a whole row to myself - so no one witnessed my emotional gasps, or the times during the races when I was literally shaking with excitement.
I loved the way that Graeme's struggle with manic depression is given respectful depth - especially since his illness was an integral part of what drove him obsessively to achieve. Too few films deal effectively with the stress and reality of being bipolar. We need to see that he is loved, respected and supported as living with a mental illness, but also that he can accept polite active intervention.
This is a remarkable story - extremely well told. Full praise to all of the cast - especially Jonny Lee Miller, who looks and lives the part and to Brian Cox, one of Britain's greatest dramatic actors (see "The Lost Language Of Cranes").
We're told by other reviewers that the film is a more than adequate precis of Graeme's story, so I'm very much looking forward to reading his book.
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