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Plot: An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong. Runtime: 103 mins Release Date: 16 Sep 2015
Greetings from Lithuania."The Program" 2015 was very entertaining movie, that told true story about fall from grace. Ben Foster was excellent as Lance Armstrong and director Stephen Frears did a great job in creating this superbly paced and involving movie - at running time 1 h 40 min this movie never drags and is very involving. Now i wasn't a fan of Lance Armstrong nor cycling sport, but i read some stories after it was all revealed. Overall, "The Program" is great biopic, not the one Lance Armstrong envisioned of course when he was on the top. It shows the <more>
shameful dark side of this legendary athlete and how his myth burned. Very solid movie.
The awful Lance Armstrong deception in an entertaining and faithful biopic. Acting and production are great. Better than the documentary The Armstrong Lie which was too soft on the cheat. We get to see how it was done and the number of people involved - which is staggering! The weakness of the press and the authorities is shown up. Based upon a book by an Irish journalist who revealed the truth and unbelievably got sued by Armstrong for doing so. Well acted by the lead who has Armstrong's mannerisms and arrogance down to a T.
Wow. (by hallesofiax3)
If you haven't seen this, all I have to say is wow. The performances by every single actor were absolutely phenomenal. Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong was an amazing casting choice - he had me hating him throughout the entire movie. Even the people who played smaller more supporting roles were integral in this film, and made it so great to watch.If you haven't yet seen this, make a point of doing it as soon as possible. I already knew about Lance Armstong's doping story from what we have all heard on the news, but The Program really provided a much more in-depth analysis of the <more>
chain of events and those involved in both sides of the controversy.
I can see this film dividing opinion, since bike fanatics of which the UK has a high number will seek to pick holes in the reality of the story and staging in the same way that a locomotive fan will point out that the 4472, "Flying Scotsman" shouldn't have been in a film set in 1926! I'm not a keen cyclist, unless you count pottering around the New Forest occasionally as 'cycling' , so I approached Stephen Frears' new biopic on disgraced superstar Lance Armstrong with some reservations. But I really enjoyed it.Armstrong is portrayed as a massively competitive <more>
individual that won't lose at cycling or table football, and won't die from cancer either. The film deftly portrays how this drive for success dragged him, like quicksand, into the world of illicit doping. In fact, for much of the film, given that he mixes all of this up with fervent support for cancer charities, I ended up feeling quite sorry for the guy: someone who knows he is cheating and fooling the world but sees it as a viable means to an end. However as his lying, both about the doping and his personal past achievements, becomes more and more cringe-worthy, he becomes a pathetic figure: this is not a great PR exercise for Armstrong.Above all, the film is a warning shot against having too much belief in overly self-confident people. There are some people who can claim wrong is right and be believed because they state the case with such vehemence and, as portrayed, Armstrong was certainly one of those. In a year of alleged similar sporting performances at FIFA, it's a lesson worth learning. Armstrong is brought brilliantly to life by lookalike Ben Foster, an actor who I must admit to date has rather passed me by. This performance to me deserves a shot at an Oscar nomination. There are parts of the film where he goes all Eddie "Hawking" Redmayne, but aside from these more physical moments, check out the scene where he comes third: just jaw-droppingly effective acting, mixing incredulity and rage all on the same face at the same time. Very impressed.Foster is backed up by a strong supporting cast: Chris O'Dowd "Bridesmaids", "Calvary" plays the Irish journalist David Walsh, doggedly pursuing the doping story. It's a believable performance. Jesse Plemons is also great in the complex role of Floyd Landis, a fellow rider on the team who has to struggle with not only lying to the public but more painfully to his Pennsylvanian Amish community. Denis Ménochet "Inglorious Basterds" is also striking as Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong's coach. While getting strong billing, Dustin Hoffman is great, as always, but has little more than a cameo in the film over a couple of scenes. And talking of random cameos though I can't see him credited did I spot Bond producer Michael G Wilson as Armstrong's doctor? .The sweeping camera shots of cinematographer Danny Cohen "Les Miserables", "The King's Speech" brings the cycling scenes to life, and are nicely melded with actual footage of the races. Though some of the Paris green screen award-giving work is rather less convincing .Director Stephen Frears "The Queen", "Philomena" directs, and wisely chooses to keep the film to a compact and entertaining 103 minutes. This has been a good year for biopics, and following the excellent "Love and Mercy" about Brian Wilson, "The Program" makes it onto my list as one of the top 10 of the year so far. Recommended. A graphical version of this review is also available at bob-the-movie- man.com .
Unforgiving drama that brings yet more shame to the name of Lance Armstrong (by bartonj2410)
'Champion. Hero. Legend. Cheat.' reads the tagline for The Program, Stephen Frears' film about the controversial and illegal route Lance Armstrong took to winning seven Tour de France titles between 1999-2005. It sure is simple yet delivers a powerful message about one of the once most iconic heroes in sport.David Walsh Chris O'Dowd , an Irish journalist for The Sunday Times, first meets Lance Armstrong Ben Foster before his Tour de France debut in 1993. Impressed with his enthusiasm yet wary of his chances, Walsh predicts Armstrong will only make a minor impact in the <more>
world of cycling.Fast forward to 1999, Armstrong has beaten testicular cancer and won the first of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles, as well as launching Livestrong, a charity to help those affected by cancer. Walsh, curious of Armstrong's miraculous recovery and performances, begins to doubt the champion and embarks on a journey to uncover the truth in regards to whether Armstrong was using banned substances to enhance his performance.With the whole world seeming to side with Armstrong, Walsh faces a lonely battle to unearth the truth and bring both justice and respect back to the sport he loves.What struck me most about The Program was the extent of Armstrong's deception and the program he and his team imposed to both use and hide the use of performance enhancing drugs. Being a true story, I knew that he had confessed to the use of these substances, I just didn't know how he went about it. The Program was a real eye-opener for me, that's for sure.Frears' film is precise and wastes no time in trying to paint Armstrong in any good light, in fact the film paints Armstrong in the style of Picasso, his character becoming distorted to the point where he becomes almost unrecognisable. There is no time wasting here and with Walsh's brilliantly titled book, Seven Deadly Sins, being the inspiration for the film, Frears has plenty of ammunition to play with.The performance of Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong has to go down as one of the best of this year. For a long time, Foster has been impressing in supporting roles, even if the films aren't that good however, The Program marks the first time where Foster gets to take centre stage and he well and truly knocks it out of the park as Armstrong, very much portraying him as the villain of the piece. There is good support from O'Dowd as the persistent Walsh, taking a step away from the comedy roles you would normally associate him with, and Jesse Plemons as Floyd Landis, a member of Armstrong's team who saw both the good and bad in what Armstrong was doing.The editing by Valerio Bonelli and Danny Cohen's cinematography of the race sequences perfectly capture just how much of an advantage the drugs gave Armstrong and his team, a task made even more achievable with the fact that Foster was taking performance enhancing drugs while shooting the film.Armstrong may have been shamed and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles but The Program will bring the story to a whole new audience who may know nothing about his deception. Everything he has ever achieved in sports and with his charity is all based on a lie and Frears' film really powers this home.
An Efficient Excercise in Deprogramming (by in1984)
8.1 of 10. Not quite up to Foxcatcher 2014 , but close. The writer John Hodge and director Stephen Frears should have been the team for American Sniper 2014 . They would have made it a more action intense and smarter film than the piece of whining military propaganda Eastwood turned it into, while still being sympathetic to the hero/anti-hero.Even though this isn't a strict documentary, they do integrate clips of reality and the races very well into the film so that everything morphs together well. Bike racers and Tour de France fans should appreciate it even if it's not a pure <more>
sports hero-worship film.Combine this film with Pawn Sacrifice 2015 and you have a true perspective into the competitive insanity the USA endorses and pushes under the vale of freedom, purity, and god.The only people who won't enjoy this are hardcore Lance Armstrong fanboys/girls, and maybe people still trying to sell their original Livestrong bracelets as collectors items will be a little upset too.