- Director:Simon Wincer
- Cast:Brendan Gleeson , Daniel MacPherson , Stephen Curry , Tom Burlinson
- Release Date:October 13, 2011
- Running time:109 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Driven by Stephen Curry’s brilliant lead performance, this deeply moving story is told in an accessible but powerful manner.
In Australia of late, true life stories have been making something of a comeback, with Red Dog and Mao's Last Dancer warming hearts on a wide scale, and the horrifying Snowtown chilling them in surprisingly large but not quite equal measure. Now comes The Cup, a rousing, tragedy-tinged, high profile true story that walks similar territory to past Aussie classics like Gallipoli and Phar Lap, offering up a tale that many will know, and doing it in a straightforward and highly accessible manner. With the workmanlike but nearly always impressive Simon Wincer (The Lighthorsemen, Phar Lap) at the helm, it's no surprise that The Cup works so well as a strong, unfussy piece of cinematic storytelling.
The film tells the gutsy - and often brutally gutting - story of champion jockey, Damien Oliver (Stephen Curry), who triumphed at The Melbourne Cup on champion steed Media Puzzle mere days after his brother, fellow jockey, Jason Oliver (Daniel MacPherson), died in a tragic on-track pile-up. To make matters even worse, the boys' father, also a jockey, had himself died many years before in a racing accident. Along with a second story detailing Media Puzzle's owner, Irishman Dermot Weld (Brendan Gleeson), not only sensitively dealing with Damien's obvious anxiety over whether or not he will race, but also with the manifold other issues that come with the big race, The Cup provides both a fascinating personal story, and also a compelling behind-closed-doors look at this country's biggest sporting event.
With comic specialist Stephen Curry going wholly dramatic with a brilliant, engaging, highly committed, and supremely physical performance as Damien Oliver, The Cup has the required rock-solid core from which to move powerfully onward, which it does with its strong supporting turns, racetrack verisimilitude, and extraordinarily moving story, which doesn't need - nor thankfully get - any stylistic gussying up. The Cup's success is simple - it's a great story, well told.