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Invictus (2009)

A 2009 film based on Nelson Mandela's life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa directed by Clint Eastwood

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Invictus left me speechless

  • Jan 4, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

One thing I've noticed about a lot of Clint Eastwood's movies is that they feel as much like literature as they do cinema. I'm not sure if this is because of the source material he works from, his very understated directing style or his actors who give very convincing performances. Whatever the answer, Invictus has a literary texture that will probably have most viewers leaving the theater feeling informed, inspired and most of all, satisfied.

The story begins with Mandela's Presidency and a heightened resentment by Africa's white minority population that somehow believe South Africa is "their country." Mandela, not wanting to widen the riff and worsen the wounds of the country, makes South Africa's rugby team among the top of his priorities for the country. His strategy is seemingly simple: give all South Africans something they can unite over. This is not as simple as it sounds since Native South Africans have made a point of cheering against  this same rugby team, which has, until now, been a symbol of their oppression.

In the hands of a lesser writer and director, or maybe better stated -- in the hands of a Hollywood studio, Invictus would have placed Matt Damon as the center of this story. The movie would have honored Mandela's history, but ultimately would have revered Damon's ability to market both the movie and the topic. Eastwood has skipped this template. Despite the movie's poster, Matt Damon is not the hero of this movie. He's almost not even the co-star. His presence and lines in the movie are quite minimal. Rightfully, this movie is mostly Morgan's/Mandela's show. It shows just how crafty Mandela must have been in getting a mostly white rugby team and a mostly black population to somehow share the same agenda: win, and win big.

Eastwood knows that ours is largely a culture that is proud of it's cynicism and irony, and so he takes nearly every triumphant trumpet moments in this movie and brings it down to earth. There is practically no last-minute-five-minute pep talk about victory from Matt Damon. And the presidential pep-talks from the new President of South Africa seem appropriate because, well, this is a man who spent nearly three decades behind bars. Surely, he has something to say. Something worth hearing. So here is where I'll say that I walked out of this movie virtually speechless.

Invictus was my first big screen movie in 2010. Given that the movie truly is about new beginnings,
I don't know if there could have been a better, more fitting movie to bring in the New Year.

Invictus left me speechless

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January 04, 2010
I just saw this on DVD over Christmas holidays. One sentence from Mandela I got away from this movie (or is it merely script? I'm not so sure) is this: We must all exceeds our own expectation. The movie is about leadership, about fighting for one's dream & about freedom. The next time you go to Capetown, go visit Robben Island. I'm sure you'll find it interesting there!
January 04, 2010
Sharrie...you need to write a travel book or something. Something tells me that if you do, it will be YOU buying ME that Lexus.
January 04, 2010
I won't mind buying you a Lexus if I can make enough to do so by just writing a travel book!!! It's a great compliment that you think so though. One day I hope I'm inspired to do so too! It'll be something if we both get to drive that Lexus! :D
 
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More Invictus reviews
review by . July 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Sport Can Unify A Nation....
I’ve always had a fondness for movies directed by Clint Eastwood. I always thought that Eastwood directed with a steady hand, revolves around simplicity and that he allows the atmosphere to dictate the film’s mood. Little surprise that I would be checking out his latest movie called “Invictus” when it was released on dvd. The film is based on the book by John Carlin “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation” and has earned Morgan Freeman …
review by . December 11, 2009
It takes courage and vision to break a cycle of fear and resentment.
It has been an awfully long time since I have been wowed by a movie.  But that was precisely my reaction to the new Clint Eastwood film "Invictus" which debuted in theaters across America today.    "Invictus" recalls the 1995 Rugby World Cup tourney which was held in South Africa.  The World Cup was the first major sporting event to take place in South Africa following the end of apartheid.  But this is by no means a movie about rugby.  Rather …
review by . December 12, 2009
This Is More Than A Sports Movie, It's A History Lesson.
   If you think that this movie was going to be a dud, then think again. When ever Clint Eastwood (Director) and Morgan Freeman (plays Nelson Mandela) get together then you are assured of a winner at the box office. I think that this is going to be 2009’s movie of the year and it will probably get a lot of awards along with Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. This movie will take you back to the year 1995 and Anthony Peckham who does the screen play and John Carlin eventually wrote …
review by . July 15, 2010
   I just saw this movie this past weekend. I love all sports movies, but this one was different- there was a LOT of history and social messages in Invictus. I think it speaks wonders for sports for social change. It really shows the discontent among the blacks and whites, and how Mandela is determined not to reinforce that discontent. One of the scenes that resonated the most with me was when Mandela showed up to the sports meeting (I can't remember the name of the organization!) …
review by . September 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
         Invictus is more about the heart of President Nelson Mandela rather than the Bokks rugby team. This film paints a beautiful picture of forgiveness, courage and the strength that comes from choosing to walk the high road with dignity. Two of the people I viewed the movie with thought there was a lack of action. I tend to like slower character pieces so that may be why I liked the movie more than they did. There are moments where the film clips along and is about …
review by . June 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've always been surprised that there haven't been more Hollywood movies about Nelson Mandela. Invictus was worth the wait however. Rather than focusing on the obvious storylines of apartheid South Africa and the transition, Invictus looks at Mandela's relationship with the white Afrikaner rugby team. Overall, the film works amazingly well both as a political biography and a sports flick. Morgan Freeman really comes across as Mandela. Matt Damon does a good job as the rugby team leader (although …
Quick Tip by . June 09, 2010
So inspiring!! Words cannot describe, A MUST SEE!!
review by . June 07, 2010
Lots of sports movies are produced every year, and almost all are either romance or drama movies; the latter being about some individual or team proving or redeeming themselves to their fans or opponents. The list of "proving" movies, i.e. movies about teams or athletes that prove themselves includes Rudy, A League of Their Own, and The Mighty Ducks among others. The list of "redeeming" movies would include He Got Game, Hoosiers, and The Natural. Rarely, Hollywood produces a truly original sports …
Quick Tip by . June 03, 2010
The filming of this movie was weird. Looked very bad quality. The plot sort of got lost...
review by . May 19, 2010
Clint Eastwood seems absent from this little movie until the credits at the end. What could have been a powerful little drama ends up being a volley between a hero president of South Africa and a Rugby Field. Granted we know a lot about the extraordinary Nelson Mandela and his surviving imprisonment to be released and form a government that through his inspiration brought an end to Apartheid. This little story about how he focused on encouraging a Rugby team's determination and success in winning …
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Wiki

Invictus is a 2009 biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid. Freeman and Damon play, respectively, South African President Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby union team the Springboks. Invictus was released in the United States on December 11, 2009. The title Invictus may be translated from the Latin as undefeated or unconquered, and is the title of a poem by English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).
Invictus (also known as The Human Factor) is a 2009 feature film based on Nelson Mandela's life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film stars Morgan Freeman as the then South African President Mandela, and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the South African team captain.[2] The story is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation. The film is due for release on December 11, 2009, and is already considered a "front-runner" for several Academy Awards.

Plot:
A look at Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) from the fall of apartheid. The story is about Mandela's release from prison, his election ...
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Details

Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2010
Runtime: 134 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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