At the heart of this true story is Damien Oliver a young jockey who loses his only brother in a tragic racing accident just days before the Melbourne Cup. The race fall hauntingly reflecting of the way their father died 27 years earlier. After suffering through a series of discouraging defeats Damien teams with Irish trainer Dermot Weld and triumphs at the 2002 Melbourne Cup in one of the most thrilling finales in sporting history.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Cup” demands a lot out of people that aren’t familiar with horse racing. But, most people have seen “Seabiscuit” or “Secretariat” and they’ve rediscovered their emotional cinema boner for movies about horsies that make wealthy people feel better about themselves. I barely kid about that. What can you say about a sport that is a luxury for most? How can you relate to it?
There are tenuous attempts to link Oliver’s courage with that of footballer Jason McCartney, who survived the Bali bombing, which ultimately come across as slightly clumsy and overly manipulative. While Wincer lays on the pathos, Bruce Rowland’s swirling score is equally as manipulative. Wincer certainly captures the excitement and glamor of the racing world, and that special atmosphere that surrounds the race that stops a nation. There is plenty of horse racing action, shot by veteran cinematographer David Burr, which adds verisimilitude.
The DVD comes with a featurette as its sole special feature. The Dolby 5.1 track is expansive for a movie that seems like it was shot for television. The transfer has mild digital noise, but it’s nothing that would ruin the presentation. It’s just that the subject matter demands a lot of the audience. In the end, I’d recommend a rental.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!