Title: The Cup
Director: Simon Wincer
A true story based on the coveted horse race in Australia flies to the finish line. Literally. And you know what? It’s “no worries” as they say down-under…or at least in the Crocodile Dundee flicks.
Yeah, the majority of American audiences will not recognize any of the performers save for Irish born thesp, Brendan Gleeson; who plays a revered horse trainer from Ireland that goes all in on a successful Australian jockey (played by co-writer Stephen Curry) to mount one of his horses, that many believe is past-its-prime.
The story based on actual events takes place in 2002 Melbourne. Very little time is devoted to educate audiences that lack knowledge on the sport of horse racing, as it is written & delivered in more of a paper-clipping type screenplay. You’ll get a flavoring of how important the race is down-under, and the facts presented do just enough to put you in the state of mind of the characters. But, don’t expect anything on the level as depicted by similar flicks such as Seabiscuit or Secretariat. The script is on the move much like a sports-show that only has time to provide the highlights of the game. Naturally, one wants to see more than just highlights at times, yet they rarely ever complain if the commentators and video packaging are able to produce the broad strokes.
And that’s all this really does. You get the gist of it without having to deal with glaring technical mistakes. This is clearly a true independent film, despite being helmed by the veteran Simon Wincer (Free Willy, Lighting Jack, The Phantom, and a plethora of TV series). Whether or not the budget played into the scant nature of the screenplay is unknown, but as stated earlier, it’s a harmless watch with a nice little, albeit predictable, finish.
Knowing all that, this review really can’t go on any further due to the vagueness of the product. So in keeping with the theme of The Cup, those are the highlights; which also include a decent amount of fundamental cinematic horse-racing footage. And gorgeous female supporting players (bless the women of Australia).
Overall, The Cup is a light ride that lays out a handful of facts regarding the yearly anticipated horse race extravaganza in Australia. With the script flying out of the gates, this is captured through the lens much like a sitcom – just longer. Despite not being the most riveting piece of filmmaking in this genre by any means, the story and the cast do a decent job maintaining your interest. Plus, it always helps when the account is a true one.