Posted by: Christine | June 5, 2010

The Greatest Game Ever Played – Movie Review

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I usually don’t post movie reviews here, but this film was so great and universally recommendable, that I had to show it
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The Greatest Game Ever Played

Starring Shia LaBeouf and Stephen Dillane

Francis is a 20-year old caddie whose blue-collar family lives across the street from an exclusive golf club. He’s quietly been working on his game over the years, and one day he has the opportunity to try out for a gentlemen’s competition. His performance isn’t the best, and he doesn’t qualify. He leaves behind his golf dreams behind and gets a dull retail job in a sports equipment shop.

To Francis’ surprise, he’s given one last opportunity to show the world that his talent is something to be reckoned with. Francis enlists Eddie, a local boy with a flair for gab, as his caddie and sometimes-coach, and begins to surprise everyone (himself most of all) with how he really is a contender. As the young hero continues on his journey, he meets his hero, a British golfer who knows what it’s like to rise up from the soil of the earth.

I really enjoyed this film for its style, story, and message. It takes place in 1913, and the American-Edwardian blend in terms of speech, dress, and social customs was fascinating. I also thought that the filmmakers used some innovative techniques that enhanced the entranced-factor of the movie: varied nifty shots following a ball being hit, use of scoreboard shots to carry details of the story, and intriguing combinations of light and shadow to aid characterization.

But what I liked best about this film was its heart. The characters were captivating, humanly flawed, and easy to relate to. I took in the atmosphere granted by the interesting different relationships between characters, such as the brotherly friendship between Frederick and Eddie, and the unspoken understanding between competing sportsmen with shared wounds. Children and adult audiences can all appreciate the characters’ struggles with their past, their dreams, and obstacles on the road in front of them. This was a true family movie, and I hope that lots of people are able to see it and enjoy it.

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