“Boys in the Boat” opened at Coronado’s Vintage Village Theatre December 25th, a gift of a movie that should be enjoyed by all this holiday season. Based on the #1 New York Times bestselling non-fiction book written by Daniel James Brown, the movie does an exceptional job of telling the story of the 1936 University of Washington crew team that defied all odds in its pursuit to bring home the gold from the Summer Olympics in Berlin. Director George Clooney took on the incredible challenge of bringing a beloved book to the big screen. The ability to inspire so much emotion and develop characters that audiences will come to pull for in a two hour film is no small feat and was handled masterfully.
Led by Coach Al Ulbrickson, played by Joel Edgerton, a group of eight individuals, all with their own challenges and varied backgrounds learned to work as one, toward a common goal to achieve greatness. While Ulbrickson was a man of few words and didn’t give grand speeches to inspire his crew, he knew how to take the parts and make a whole and to push them to their mental and physical limits while earning their devotion. The story focuses on Joe Rantz, played by Callum Turner, one of the crew who faced significant adversity in his life, yet found his place as a part of the boat crew. Crew was often seen as a wealthy sport and the best boats came from the Ivy League schools, yet we are inspired by a group of young men struggling financially during the depression, struggling emotionally with family challenges, and overcoming those odds as they work their way toward glory.
In anticipation of watching this film I read the book, which came highly recommended from family and friends who had read it in the past. The book was phenomenal and made me wonder how they could tell this incredible story in just two hours. I was pleasantly surprised by how well done the film was, and I was thrilled that my two sons loved the film as well. It was a Christmas gift for us to go as a family and enjoy this well-told tale of overcoming adversity through hard work, determination and grit and leave the theater talking about all we loved in the film. I would recommend everyone read the book as there is a lot more detail and background that is worth exploring, but for those looking for a great film to lift your spirits this holiday season, go watch “Boys in the Boat.”
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Director: George Clooney
Actors: Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, Peter Guinness
Running Time: 2 hr 4 min