Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Movie Review: Race

It's confusing with the current controversy of the Oscars and the issues of race that Hollywood just can't seem to get right, that this movie would be put off for a February release where it would get buried in the box office and pretty much forgotten. Race is a solid film and with a different marketing campaign, this movie easily could have been up there with the other nominees.

Stephen James shines as Jesse Owens. It's also a travesty that I haven't learned as much as I should have about this historic figure. James does a great job capturing the dilemma of mixed feelings with wanting to compete but not supporting the awful Nazi regime. Stephen James is a talent to watch in the future.

Jason Sudekis also delivers a memorable performance as Owens's coach Larry Snyder. Sudekis takes a much different route than his usual comedy fare and shows the potential of his career beyond the goofy movies he's known for. The rest of the supporting cast including Shanice Banton as Owens's wife, David Cross as a German competitor, and Eli Goree as a fellow racer.

The remade stadium was cool to see and the film broached several interesting themes. The other storyline of the torn American Olympic Committee that had John Hurt and Jeremy Irons in it was interesting to see and piece of history I didn't know.  

I think with some more production and little more effort in the direction this movie could have easily been a best picture nominee. The source material certainly gave the filmmakers a lot to work with and even had a chance to make an ode to filmmaking with Leni Riefenstahl played by Carice Van Houten. This movie is good and I would recommend any fans of history or films to see it!

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