Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), in his first term as President of South African, 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 (Bradley Cooper'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.
Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbor, Thao Lor (Bee Vang), a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.
This movie tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the Captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon) 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 this movie is focused on the inspiration of Nelson Mandela on the Springboks and the pathway to unity the World Cup win created amongst his people. This movie did not enjoy widespread support in New Zealand following its release because it avoided illustrating the food poisoning rampant amongst 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 favoring the South African game largely focused 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 this movie's release and Clint Eastwood is reported as avoiding questions from New Zealanders at related press conferences. See more »
In the scene where Nelson Mandela opens a drawer and removes his estranged wife's bracelet, you can clearly see a few coins with the post-2000 South African coat-of-arms. 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 »
In surely one of his lightest and straight-forward works of his career, Clint Eastwood has achieved one of the most inspirational films of the year with his new film, Invictus.
Starring Academy Award Winners Morgan Freeman as South African President Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Rugby Captain Francois Pienaar, Invictus is a picture full of emotion, magnetism, and revelation. What critics and audiences may be deceived by is belief that this is THE Nelson Mandela biopic which it is not. It is the story of Nelson Mandela's first years as President of the culturally separated country South Africa in 90's. In a way to unify his people, Mandela used the country's love for Rugby to connect the whites and the blacks. As their record has been less than impressive, no one expects anything notable from the Springboks. Mandela taps the captain of the team to rally his troops and surge into battle for the greater good of his country.
Everything about Invictus works on so many degrees of the medium based on the book "Playing the Enemy." The film never comes off as too pretentious or egotistical; it requires nothing more from the viewer than an open mind and heart. Eastwood directs the film perfectly, laying back when he needs to, never pushing the subject matter or shoving it down our throats. He utilizes all the skills we've come to love about his earlier works in Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, and Letters from Iwo Jima. The use of light shows a character' s vulnerability inhabiting their souls or a score by Kyle Eastwood that offers both zeal and subtlety during a rugby match.
Cinematographer Tom Stern hits another one out of the park, catching all the fury and apprehension of all the different elements of this strenuous time. Joel Cox and Gary Roach edit the film with the perfect amount of precision and friction.
Morgan Freeman as Mandela is a wonderful charmer, showing the man's most hostile yet tranquil behaviors. Not necessarily the most engulfed characterization seen on film this year as Freeman's accent comes in and out of remission, but it's a tremendous performance worthy of an Oscar nomination.
Matt Damon, showing himself as one of the best working actors today, doesn't have enough of the character depth and arc to carry the picture. Damon's performance doesn't allow him to really go anywhere. It's a superb turn, with a great accent inhabitance, that warrants credit where the credit is due. However, Damon requires nothing more than a little motivational speaking and responsive humility.
Invictus, is one of the best pictures of the year, standing in the ranks of one of the best sports films of the decade. This is the type of film that Oscar will likely be all over and fall in love with. I concur.
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