Chariots Of Fire, 1981
Directed by Hugh Hudson
Nominated for 7 Oscars, Won 4
Wins Include: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score
Chariots of Fire tells the story of 2 runners aiming to make the Olympics. One, Harold Abrahams, comes from a rich Jewish family, and is running with the aim to fight against opression and find his place within the high Cambridge society. The other, Eric Liddel, is a devout Scottish missionary, and runs because he finds it pleasing to God. Liddel is incredible fast, and Abrahams is determined to beat him. When both of them make the Olympics, Liddel is crushed to find out the first qualifying heat is on a Sunday. The Sabbath, the day where one should rest. Both men, standing up for what they believe in are the subject of this film.
I think this film is the perfect example of how film-making has changed. The story of Liddel and Abrahams are told very plainly, with a little tension, but not much with some pretty cheesy 80's music. These days, when telling the story of rivals, we make it very tense, we make the races gripping, and we make the story extremely exciting, even if it isn't 100% true (and not that Chariots of Fire was that true either).
To me, this movie was pretty in the middle of all the Best Picture Winners I've watched. It was not a bad movie, but it wasn't the best one I've watched, and didn't really do anything spectacular. While the music was certainly a little gutsy and very different when the film was released, it now just comes off very dated and cheesy and doesn't particularly fit at all. Of course, we all know the theme and it has become very iconic, but it truthfully doesn't fit.
The acting was alright in the film. We had only one nomination for acting, and it was for Abraham's trainer. It was overall pretty subpar. Solid, but nothing incredible.
The movie, additionally, was very British. Generally, I only notice high patriotism in American movies because they are always so rah-rah America! But it was very British (which I don't mind since it's always the American's and this time it wasn't, and it's about the Olympics). There were also a lot of smaller, supporting characters which were hard to distinguish from each other as all of them served very little purpose and had hardly any personality.
Overall, this movie was just sort of whatever. It was a nice movie that I've defiinitely seen before at youth group a long time ago, and is sort of a standard Christian movie played in church (everyone I know at church has seen it, or at least parts of it, at some point). It had a good message, but times have changed, and while this movie wasn't made that long ago, I can tell it would be made very differently now. Though you never know, with all these reboots and remakes, you never know what will happen. Though I'd personally love to see Tom Hiddleston as Eric Liddel and Benedict Cumberbatch as Abrahams (I'm not being fangirly, I swear they both sort of look like these 2 characters). But as this won't happen, and I'm glad it won't, I'll just go on saying this movie was alright, though has a good message.
Emotional Connection- 7/10
Overall Enjoyment- 7.25/10
Overall Package- 7.5/10