The Cup (2012)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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A true story about two brothers, both competing for the highest honor in horse racing, the Melbourne Cup. When tragedy strikes, one brother relies on the support of a veteran horse trainer to overcome the odds and challenge himself to win. An incredible story of inspiration and triumph over adversity. -- (C) Myriad Pictures
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– Rotten Tomatoes
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Critic Reviews for The Cup
A tale of heart-wrenching tragedy and uplifting triumph that never quite hits its stride.
Although it canters down a well-trod path toward a predictable finish line, The Cup sustains interest through the smooth efficiency of its storytelling and the engaging performances of its lead players.
It's a very decorous picture in which a sense of conflict is largely lacking.
Even the most ardent lover of feel-good biopics would have a hard time backing this horse.
I found The Cup to be a pleasant-enough viewing experience. At the same time, I was never as riveted as I have been by other, similarly-themed films. It makes you feel good without ever truly stirring the soul.
One wonders who the audience is for a film this far removed from the dirt and grime of the reality it claims to be based on, and why they find anything so squeaky-clean appealing.
Director Simon Wincer, who also co-wrote the screenplay, was not the right person to avoid certain temptations, like dunking the audience's noggins into a honey pot of clichés.
The hybrid feel of it all works, and the inevitable uneven moments didn't bother me, nor did the odd story cliché.
It's a shamelessly old-fashioned picture but if you like horses and fancy cantering off into the land of wish-fulfilment for a couple of hours, why not?
The Cup has certainly been released at the right time to cash in on Spring Racing Carnival fever. But not all paying punters will be pleased with the final dividend returned.
There's a lot of interesting stuff here but in the end it's a bit disappointing.
The Cup doesn't dig deeply enough into its characters. Everyone is portrayed in a positive light and it's as if the writers were too afraid to challenge the audience.
The problem is that everyone is so nice. It's as if the film has to pussyfoot around not to offend any of the people depicted in the film because they are mostly still alive, so the tension is really all internal,
Director Simon Wincer is unable to convey this tale in a manner that would elevate it beyond the experience of reading the condensed, chronological series of events on Wikipedia.
Talk about product placement: there are times when The Cup resembles a feature-length advertisement for the race itself.
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