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If I were to judge by the trailer, then surely Invictus looks “just” like another inspirational movie, in the same vein as any other Disney sports production – it paves forward the basic plot but doesn’t do anything real surprising or galvanizing. However, I do know better because I know that Clint Eastwood is directing. Last time he went the sports route, he gave us Million Dollar Baby, which veered away from so many sports cliches toward the end that it felt like a transformation into a completely different, triumphant film. Perhaps Invictus won’t be quite so bold, since it is based on history, but none of his films so far have gone for the obvious conflict and the easy resolve. His films always take a much tougher path and end with more questions than they began and ambiguous feelings on the audience’s part toward the picture. I don’t expect Invictus to be much different. Mandela sometimes told people the hard truth, after all, even if they didn’t want to hear it.
The trailer does, however, give us an excellent look at the actors, and I couldn’t tell you anything about the fidelity of the accents, but the acting really does look superb. Cue all of the jokes about the kinds of roles that Morgan Freeman plays, as the strong and unbending support character upon whom all others rely on, but he really looks at the top of his game here.