Invictus

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Product Overview

Nelson mandela, in his first term as the south african president, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 rugby world cup.

Specifications

Studio Warner
SKU 214939019
UPC 883929060948
UPC 14 00883929060948
Format DVD
Rating Rating
Keywords
1990s
Champions
Historic Events
Historic Figures
Historical
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note After both Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman walked away with Oscars after their last collaboration, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, the celebrated pair reteams for this drama based on a true story. Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela, who has just been elected president of South Africa. To bring his country together, Mandela brings the South African rugby team and its captain (Matt Damon) to the forefront as the players try to win a world championship.
Reviews
Variety "[A] very good story very well told....Every scene brims with surprising details that accumulate into a rich fabric of history, cultural impressions and emotion." 11/27/2009
Hollywood Reporter "Nothing speaks so dramatically about Clint Eastwood's recent and remarkable burst of creativity as a director of awards-worthy films than the appearance of INVICTUS..." 11/27/2009
Box Office Magazine 3 stars out of 5 -- "INVICTUS is a salubrious amalgam of history and sports suitable for family viewing." 12/01/2009
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Eastwood's modest approach to these momentous events shames the usual Hollywood showboating....He's made a film that truly is good for the soul." 12/24/2009
Entertainment Weekly "Freeman lets the words breathe, and Damon, as the cautious Afrikaner brought to a higher place by Mandela's authority, acts with a coolly impassive fervor." -- Grade: B 12/18/2009
USA Today 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Director Clint Eastwood cleverly fuses a political tale and a sports story and serves fact-based inspiration....[With] two stellar performances and a story that stirs hearts and intrigues minds." 12/11/2009
Los Angeles Times "[T]he director has turned out a stirring drama about South African leader Nelson Mandela, blending entertainment, social message and history lesson..." 12/11/2009
Wall Street Journal "[Featuring] the convergence of a great actor and a great character. Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela is lie a virtuoso playing Bach on a Stradivarius while moving serenely around the room." 12/11/2009
New York Times "[A] rousing true story of athletic triumph....An absorbing character study of one of the most extraordinary characters of our time..." 12/11/2009
Washington Post 3 stars out of 4 -- "[Damon] has become the most unlikely Hollywood rarity: a character actor with a matinee-idol face." 12/11/2009
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "Though Freeman's voice is deeper than Mandela's, he catches the former President's cadences exactly..." 01/15/2009
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "Eastwood maintains momentum....[He] perhaps encourages many to want to learn more about what happened either side of this glorious moment, expertly brought to life again." 01/26/2010
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "[N]oble, elegant, warm-hearted and dedicated to Anthony Peckham's solidly faithful adaptation of John Carlin's book." 01/29/2010
Premiere 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Based on the real events that transpired in South Africa in the early and mid-90s this is another solid offering from Hollywood's most consistent director, Clint Eastwood." 05/18/2010
Directors
Clint Eastwood
Actors
Matt Damon
Morgan Freeman
Cast & Crew
Clint Eastwood - Star
Matt Damon - Star
Morgan Freeman - Star
Gary Barber - Executive Producer
Morgan Freeman - Executive Producer
Roger Birnbaum - Executive Producer
John Carlin - Source Writer
Tim Moore - Executive Producer
Mace Neufeld - Producer
Robert Lorenz - Producer
Lori McCreary - Producer
Anthony Peckham - Screenwriter
Clint Eastwood - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2009
UPC 00883929060948
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 133 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Awards
Image Award (2010) Anthony Peckham, Nominee, Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Theatrical or Television),Invictus, Nominee, Outstanding Motion Picture,Morgan Freeman, Winner, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Golden Globe (2010) Clint Eastwood, Nominee, Best Director - Motion Picture,Matt Damon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Screen Actors Guild (2010) Matt Damon, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Oscar (2010) Matt Damon, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role,Morgan Freeman, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review With the election of Barack Obama, we have apparently entered a kinder, gentler world in which films about racial harmony and goodwill to all men are becoming commonplace (at least during awards season). How else to explain the presence of both The Blind Side and Invictus within the first year of Obama's term? Both are transparent Oscar bait - they are inspirational and earnest, but each preaches a little too loudly. That's one of two problems with Invictus: it makes its point early about the power of sports as a force of unification then beats us over the head by repeating that idea ad nauseam. The second issue is that the movie is poorly edited; the inclusion of too much extraneous material adds about 20 minutes to the length and results in parts of the story feeling unfocused. Still, the overall experience is uplifting and enjoyable. History has pre-determined the outcome but, flaws aside, Eastwood has crafted something that works both as a sports drama and as an examination of the birth pains of the racially unified South Africa...There's no debating that the message of Invictus is worthy, but there are times when its repetition elevates it to a level that's almost sanctimonious. Eastwood goes overboard in depicting the unifying power of sports. The most cloying example is a little black boy who hangs around a taxi to hear the broadcast of the game on the car radio. At first, the white driver tries to shoo him away. By the end of the game, they are celebrating together. The point has been adequately made without this additional, pointless display of theatrics...If these criticisms seem a bit harsh, it's because the movie had the potential to be one of the truly great inspirational sports movies. Although its flaws keep it from achieving that level, it's still a strong piece of mass market filmmaking. The message is undeniably positive, there are enough details about the difficulties faced by Mandela to recall how divisive a time it was in South Africa, and everything builds to the kind of rousing climax that a sports movie demands. Invictus is engaging enough that it's easy to forgive, if not overlook, its problems. Like The Blind Side, it offers a more hopeful view of humanity than something like 2012. Frank Capra would be pleased.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Morgan Freeman has been linked to one biopic of Nelson Mandela or another for at least 10 years. Strange that the only one to be made centers on the South African rugby team. The posters for Clint Eastwood's Invictus feature Matt Damon in the foreground, with Freeman looming behind him in shadowy nobility. I can imagine the marketing meetings during which it was lamented that few Americans care much about about Mandela and that Matt Damon appeals to a younger demographic...Screw 'em, is what I would have contributed. The achievement of Nelson Mandela is one of the few shining moments in recent history. Here is a man who was released after 24 years of breaking rocks in prison and sleeping on the floor to assume leadership of the nation that jailed him. His personal forgiveness of white South Africa was the beacon that illuminated that nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, one of the very few examples in history of people who really had much to forgive, and forgave it. Let us not forget that both black and white had reasons to grieve, and reasons to forgive, and that in many cases they were facing the actual murderers of their loved ones...It is a very good film. It has moments evoking great emotion, as when the black and white members of the presidential security detail (hard-line ANC activists and Afrikaner cops) agree with excruciating difficulty to serve together. And when Damon's character -- Francois Pienaar, as the team captain -- is shown the cell where Mandela was held for those long years on Robben Island. My wife, Chaz, and I were taken to the island early one morning by Ahmed Kathrada, one of Mandela's fellow prisoners, and yes, the movie shows his very cell, with the thin blankets on the floor. You regard that cell and you think, here a great man waited in faith for his rendezvous with history...Freeman does a splendid job of evoking the man Nelson Mandela, who is as much a secular saint as Gandhi (who led his first campaign in Durban, South Africa). He shows him as genial, confident, calming -- over what was clearly a core of tempered steel. The focus is on his early time in office. I believe there may be one scene with a woman representing Winnie Mandela, but the dialogue is vague. Damon is effective at playing the captain, Francois Pienaar, an Afrikaner, child of racist parents, transformed by his contact with "the greatest man I've ever met." Clint Eastwood, a master director, orchestrates all of these notes and has us loving Mandela, proud of Francois and cheering for the plucky Springboks. A great entertainment. Not, as I said, the Mandela biopic I would have expected.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Features
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Quotes
A.O. Scott, The New York Times It's an exciting sports movie, an inspiring tale of prejudice overcome and, above all, a fascinating study of political leadership.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal A win-win situation in which a mainstream feature works equally well as stirring entertainment and a history lesson...
Lou Lumenick, New York Post This movie depicts an unlikely intersection of sports and leadership in ways that manage to be inspiring and insightful without ever becoming schmaltzy or preachy

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