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Invictus (2009)

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Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Anthony Peckham (screenplay), John Carlin (book)
Reviews
Popularity
3,380 ( 206)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Morgan Freeman ... Nelson Mandela
Matt Damon ... Francois Pienaar
Tony Kgoroge Tony Kgoroge ... Jason Tshabalala
Patrick Mofokeng Patrick Mofokeng ... Linga Moonsamy
Matt Stern Matt Stern ... Hendrick Booyens
Julian Lewis Jones ... Etienne Feyder
Adjoa Andoh ... Brenda Mazibuko
Marguerite Wheatley Marguerite Wheatley ... Nerine
Leleti Khumalo ... Mary
Patrick Lyster ... Mr. Pienaar
Penny Downie ... Mrs. Pienaar
Sibongile Nojila Sibongile Nojila ... Eunice
Bonnie Henna ... Zindzi
Shakes Myeko Shakes Myeko ... Minister of Sport
Louis Minnaar ... Springbok Coach (as Louis Minaar)
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Storyline

The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a prisoner who became a president. To unite his country, he asked one man to do the impossible. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

11 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Human Factor See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,611,147, 13 December 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,491,364

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$124,514,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

When we hear the voice of Morgan Freeman reciting Invictus while Matt Damon is in the Robben Island cell, a word of the poem is changed. The line reads, "Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody but unbowed." The voice of Freeman uses the word "fate" instead of "chance." The meaning is the same, but it breaks the rhyme scheme. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
High School Boy: [seeing passing motorcade] Who is it, sir?
High School Coach: It's the terrorist Mandela, they let him out. Remember this day boys, this is the day our country went to the dogs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the first part of the end credits, pictures are shown of the real life characters that were portrayed in the movie. Those images are then followed by a scene of South African kids playing rugby. See more »

Connections

Follows The Color of Freedom (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Shosholoza
Traditional
Arranged by Gobingca George Mxadana
Performed by Overtone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Inspiring and uplifting!
11 December 2009 | by jdkrausSee all my reviews

Originally, I thought this movie was going to be a biopic on the life of Nelson Mandela. To some degree, it is a biography on Mr. Mandela, but the film's main focus is on his idea of inspiring a country that is drawn to crime, violence, and poverty (after years of Apartheid) to a glimpse of hope via the nation's rugby team.

Without a doubt, this is the perfect role for Morgan Freeman. I will note that his accent comes and goes throughout the film, but he nails the role down. He is not overly dramatic nor does he just read the script. He becomes the man. Morgan Freeman is easily one of my favorite actors because he never plays himself. He always makes himself into the character he's assigned to. He'll definitely receive the Best Actor nom, and hopefully, Morgan can finally win the Oscar he so desperately deserves.

Regarding Matt Damon as the rugby coach (Francois Pienaar), he too immerses himself into his role. He even maintains a solid accent. However, the sympathy of the film is aimed towards Mandela than it is to Francois. The other cast members (none of which I recognized) also gave decent, believable performances.

As with the plot, it is predictable, something we've seen before…underdog overcomes impossible odds, yet screenwriter Anthony Peckham throws in many important themes that may seem all to familiar, but is nonetheless eye-opening such as: forgiveness, unity, and determination to do what is right. Racial tension between the whites and blacks is dominant in the movie, particularly between the black and white security guards, but the film's point, as well as Mandela's goal, is to put our differences aside and work together as one.

The movie isn't just about a rugby game, but rather organizing a nation to a success. It may be considered a wise political move on Mandela's part, but as Morgan says to his aid, "It is a human calculation". People need inspiration in order to change and to do good. These themes are what make it a good film. It also makes it a different kind of sports movie.

Tom Stern's cinematography is wonderful, and this time, he doesn't make the movie all sepia tone like in "Letters of Iwo Jima" or "Changeling" and I congratulate the editors Joel Cox and Gary Roach once again for making each shot beautifully seamless and well structured for the storyline. The music by Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens is not just a pretty tone that plays along with the movie, but it adds some oomph and emotion. I particularly love their choice of African vocals, for it not only makes the film feel more real, but it is absolutely beautiful to listen to.

Clint Eastwood has done another great movie. Not only has he captured the themes of the story, but also the poverty of South Africa as well as the intense rugby sequences. There are some powerful scenes in this movie, as well as some intense and suspenseful ones, and even ones that'll make you smile. For the first time in a movie for this year, I actually cried. Not because of sadness, but from joy.

"Invictus" is an inspiring film. Some back-story could have been added to the characters and the first act could have been faster, but overall, I enjoyed this film. "Invictus" proves that it doesn't take special effects and big action sequences to make a great film. It is excellent to see one of our great old directors to recognize this, and display it so wonderfully without being preachy about it.


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