SYNOPSIS: Nelson Mandela is elected president of a nation torn by apartheid, and attempts to unite the country with a mission to have the South Africa's national team win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Another weekend comes and another Oscar contender opens in theatre. This time, I would consider it a true contender. Opening opposite Disney's "The Princess and the Frog", this film was actually one I wanted to see.
"Invictus" is a poem written by William Ernest Henley and the title of Clint Eastwood's new film. The story revolves around four characters - Nelson Mandela, Francois Pienaar and the South Africa Springboks, and the two sides of a divided nation. Nelson Mandela struggles to unite a post-apartheid country after being elected president. The division of the nation may be black and white, but understanding the needs to unify them is shades of gray.
Morgan Freeman is wonderful to watch as Mandela. With or without dialogue, his eyes convey all you need to know. Matt Damon adds physical muscle and a spot-on accent to his acting pedigree to play the understated captain of the national rugby team, tasked with the mission to win the World Cup. The performances and the story are understated and powerful. Knowing the history of Mandela and his former imprisonment and the lingering effects of apartheid, every scene holds an underlying intensity.
Playing as both a political historical drama and a sports underdog movie, Eastwood adds his style and keen directorial eye to a film worth while.
Worth: Matinee or DVD