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Movie adapted from the book "Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong" by David Walsh investigation of the synonymous cancer-free tour de force champion holder. David Walsh played by Chris O' Dowd was the first journalist to make the accusation about Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster) and how the league was able to cover it up.
Big cycling movie fan and just a cycling guy
A genuinely captivating performance from the always-brilliant Ben Foster makes this hollow, poorly-paced and -edited biopic watchable, but his efforts are ultimately hindered by an inexcusably poor directorial effort from Stephen Frears. Foster's sociopathic, chilling turn as Lance Armstrong ranks as one of the strongest performances in biopic history, but an over-reliance on flash and stylesacrificing any attempt at delving into the depth of Armstrong's characterdooms the film to mediocrity.
A rather scathing Lance Armstrong story - what a surprise.
Starting off with Armstrong's introduction to the holy grail of cycling, Le Tour de France, "The Program" wastes little time developing character, but instead jumps cannonball style into the chemical pool. It's very simple poetry: to compete, you have to cheat; and young Lance hops on board. The rest is well documented history: a brutal fight with testicular cancer, a miraculous recovery, some balls jokes, seven Tour victories, cancer foundation glory, millions of dollars, the fall from grace, the end.
Telling nothing we don't know, "The Program" relies on documenting the most sensational scandal of sports doping history in a methodical, well-paced manner. And as juicy as the story may be, the film fails to generate anything in way of sympathy, outrage or tension. We don't really get to know who the hell Lance Armstrong is, where he came from, how he compared with his chief rivals (Jan Ullrich is not even mentioned), and what his personal life was like (we see a quick marriage and glimpses of kids, but nothing else).
"The Program" is so Lance centered that it lives and dies with its lead. Ben Foster does an admirable job as the stoic cyclist, but his deadpan performance is as lifeless as Armstrong's public persona. There is never any depth revealed, nor hinted at.
Recommended for those not familiar with the crazy tale, if such an audience exists.
Ben Foster està estupendo.
We definitely know more about the incident about Lance Armstrong, but not himself as a person. Stephen Frears should be better than this.
Foster he gives a worthy performance as the disgraced cycler. The film doesn't ask you to feel for him, but just shows him as the cheat that he became. It is pretty straight forward stuff, but it was enjoyable.
I always say that I don't like biopics and sport movies, but sometimes I try to fly over my prejudices and I watch biopics and sport movies. Sometimes all the two of them together, like in this case :D Well, the problem is that, despite some very nice shootings and a good mix between archive images and ones filmed appositely for the movie, the result resembles a fakeness difficult to accept when the actors are on the bikes. Unfortunately, this happens also sometimes when they are not, a thing that I find even more annoying.
Review at www.cinemaniacreviews.net
Some terrific acting from a talented young cast highlights this ultimately disappointing bio-pic. The screenplay and directing are all over the place and this film portrays Armstrong as an extreme villain, hungary for fame and fortune who will do anything to win a race. Not really a feel good story and you don't really feel any compassion for him, even when he's going through major cancer treatments early in the film. But history is what it is and I guess he really can't be portrayed in a happy-go-lucky way.