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.
Navy S.E.A.L. sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
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
While the film is focussed on the inspiration of Nelson Mandela on the Springbok's and the pathway to unity the world cup win created amongst his people. The film did not enjoy widespread support in New Zealand following its release because it avoided illustrating the food poisoning rampant umong the All Black squad before the final. Most of the All Black players taking part in the final left the field to vomit on the sidelines during the course of the match. Thus undermining the running style of tactical play used by the New Zealand team and favouring the South African game largely focussed around points from forcing penalties (all points in the game were scored by the two respective penalty kickers). Intentional food poisoning on the part of hotel staff hosting the New Zealand team has been investigated and found inconclusive by those conducting the investigation. However the only members of the squad not effected were those that missed a team dinner a few days before the final and purchased takeaway food elsewhere. This issue was raised by journalists following the films release and Clint Eastwood is reported as avoiding questions from New Zealanders at related press conferences. See more »
In the movie, Nelson Mandela takes his hat off during the South African national anthem. However, in real life he left his hat on as taking off the hat during the national anthem is primarily an American custom. See more »
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 »
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 »
Morgan Freeman shines in Clint Eastwood's solid drama
Set in the early to mid 90's, Clint Eastwood's "Invictus" covers the first year of Nelson Mandela's presidency and how he pushed the nation's rugby team, led by captain Francois Pienaar, to achieve World Cup glory. However, Mandela's backing of the rugby team splits many hairs, as the "Sprinboks" have come to be a symbol of apartheid for millions of South Africans, making Mandela risk the very base that pushed him into office. He must also deal with personal security, his exhaustive schedule, and the strains on his personal life.
As much as I respect Morgan Freeman, I was concerned that his presence would be distracting, that I would be seeing him instead of Nelson Mandela. I shouldn't have worried. Freeman completely immerses himself into the role and gives one of the best performances of the year. Not only are his accent and tone of voice quite good, but he brings a true 3-dimensionality to the role. Compare, for example, him having tea with Francois, to talking with his family, and to making a political speech. Freeman nailed every facet of Mandela's life.
Damon also excels as Pienaar, the solid enough rugby player who must do more than just lead by example for his team. The screenplay, adapted by Anthony Peckham, doesn't offer many narrative surprises, but it does do a good job examining not only the strife South Africa was in when Mandela was elected, but also the value of the team to the entire nation. Eastwood wisely plays the material straight. Though the material may seem familiar, the performances by Damon and especially Freeman are what elevate this tale into a solid and even uplifting drama.
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