Director George Clooney’s “Boys in the Boat” radiates with pure chauvinistic joy; flows like a divine fairy tale, but is redolently true; a tale of underdogs, besting the odds; a triumph set in the heart of the depression, a rags vs riches scenario igniting a long-lost pride in our bruised but immaculate country.
Based on the 2013 bestseller by Daniel James Brown focusing on the University of Washington’s junior varsity rowing crew and their struggle to represent the U.S. in the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Berlin. Joel Edgerton’s depiction of coach Al Ulbrickson is staggeringly perceptive and searingly authentic; he inspires grit and perseverance in his downtrodden but determined young men: Joe Rantz (deceptively but positively flawless Callum Turner), the poorest of the crew; coxswain, Bobby Moch (sensationally adept, Luke Slattery) with Hellenistic fury goads the team to conquer the infeasible. Hearty but minimal roles by Hadley Robinson (a touch of titillation as Joyce Simdars); Peter Guinness (a sage boat builder, an oracle, George Pocock); hunky, stalwart, ferociously dedicated boys, cocooned, as one in a shell (scull) propelled by a supernatural predilection to succeed, are magnificent, muscled icons. Astounding cinematography (Martin Ruhl, cinematographer) blesses the races with glassy splendor and breathtaking ardency; filmed in England’s Cotswold’s’.
“In a sport like this,hard work, not much glory, but still popular in every century-well there must be some beauty which ordinary men can’t see, but extraordinary men do.” “Boys in the Boat” erases the ordinary and buoys audiences to the extraordinary.