True Blue Reviews
Angered by the result, one of the Oxford oarsmen, American Rick Ross, swears to avenge the defeat and proceeds to import all his mates in the US national squad into Oxford as post-grads so they can redeem the failing Oxford squad.
Rowing politics soon raise their ugly head and a power struggle over training methods and crew selection, leads to a bitter clash between the Scottish president of the Oxford Dark Blues, Donald MacDonald (Dominic West) and the American oarsmen.
In the ensuing spat, the Americans pull out six weeks before the race. The stage is then set not only for MacDonald's fightback but for Oxford's coach, Topolski (Johan Leysen), to mould an inexperienced reserve crew into a winning team.
Those searching for the detailed truth about what really went on in Oxford in 1986/87 should turn their DVD player off and go and read Alison Gill's book "the Yanks at Oxford" (if you can manage to find a copy) as it gives a much less biased view of the whole sorry saga.
For those who simply want to watch a good sports movie, a miracle at Oxford is certainly an entertaining watch, especially for those who know little about the sport of rowing and are therefore impervious to the huge number of continuity errors - mainly around use of equipment that simply didn't exist in 1986 and the intercutting of acted scenes with real footage from the 1996 boatrace and fours head.
Worth watching but take it with a big pinch of salt.