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Born into a legendary racing family, jockeys Damien Oliver and his brother, Jason, followed in their father's footsteps. Ray Oliver died tragically in a racing accident when the boys were young. But racing was in their blood, and Damien in particular inherited his father's gifts. His eye was on the greatest championship of them all, the prestigious Melbourne Cup. After years of training, he was ready. Damien would ride the powerful but temperamental Media Puzzle, under the watch of the great Irish trainer Dermot Weld. Some were not so sure about Media Puzzle's chances, but Weld was confident that the great jockey and spirited horse would make an unbeatable combination. As racing day approached, horses, jockeys, trainers, owners, fans and the media from around the globe descended on Melbourne. Weld's fiercest rival, Sheikh Mohammed, the Crown prince of Dubai, sent his best horses, anxious for a Melbourne Cup win. The news channels were filled with talk and speculation about Damien and ...Written by
The Cup is based on the true events that happened during the 2008 Melbourne Cup and the dedication, motivation and tragedy of the trainers, jockeys and all those closest to them.
It's directed by Simon Wincer who's most familiar pieces of work was Free Willy, The Phantom and Phap Lap.
The story is primarily told from the perspective of Damien Oliver and is semi auto biographical. It show's his struggles with the death of his brother who was killed while horse racing only two weeks before the Cup, and the anticipation of all those closest to him as Oliver is faced with the heavy decision, to follow is heart and keep racing or his head and pull out.
Stephen Curry is great as Damien Oliver he both acts and looks the part of the famous jockey. His supporting cast includes many well known Australian actors like Shaun Micallef and Daniel MacPherson but its Brendon Gleeson from Harry Potter fame that really give a likable performance.
There are a few things that do let this film down. One criticism was the overall feel of the movie which felt like a day time soap opera with cheesy editing, over use of montages and at times poor acting.
The major problem for me was the flash back sequence's which showed Damien Oliver's Mother re-live the memories of her Husband's fateful fall off a race horse. Not only were they not needed they were over dramatised and gave it a genuine Neighbour's feel.
While may people know who wins the race, the behind the scene's insight into the weeks of preparation it takes to compete in the Cup is very entertaining and the film also does a good job of showing the challenges Damien Oliver had to go through, which I had little knowledge of.
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