Mar 12, 2012

The Cup, or Mara battles jet lag in a fruitless attempt to adjust to EST and fails miserably

The Cup
2011

So I've been in Australia this month. Random introduction, maybe, but while I was blearily trying to grasp the concept of time somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en route back to Los Angeles...at some point in the past 72 hours, I don't know...I watched this movie. I may have been a little tipsy and on sleeping pills at the time, but by God, I watched this movie.

Also, I am not sure how or why I'm awake right now, yet here I am. So I'm going to try to keep this to the point.

Once upon a time, a horse called Media Puzzle won the Melbourne Cup. Supposedly this was one of the more memorable moments in the race's history, but for all I know this could be a total fabrication for the sake of the story which is this: wonder jockey Damien Oliver's brother dies, and that really upset him, so he didn't ride one winner on Victoria Derby Day, which led to someone thinking about taking him off of Media Puzzle before the Melbourne Cup. But Damien rides Media Puzzle anyway, and they win the race. A montage of happy people smiling in disbelief follows. The end.

This movie is based on a book of the same name, which I can only hope is far more interesting. The Cup spends a lot of time trying to make me care with sappy and sentimental flashbacks, fans cooing at Damien during what might have been a rugby game, and Damien's girlfriend really caring about the Bali Bombing amidst planes landing and taking off, Sheik Mohammed wowing us all with his knowledge of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (yes, really), and occasionally pretty but mainly confusing track workouts. Then Brendan Gleeson, who I normally really like, spent all of this time being unintelligible. Even Tom Burlinson, of The Man from Snowy River fame, could not save The Cup. Mainly because I did not recognize him until it suddenly occurred to me which character he actually was about five minutes ago.

I refuse to blame my dislike of this movie on jet lag and my being trapped in a giant tube at the time. 

Also, it was directed by the same guy who gave us The Young Black Stallion. Had I been cognizant of that going into it, I probably would have saved myself the time and watched more of An Idiot Abroad instead.


(Qantas is awesome. Everyone should experience how awesome they are. Everyone.)


A scattering of horse book reviews (including Thoroughbred, I promise) will occur shortly. As soon as I am a functioning human again, because it has occurred to me that right now I am really not one of those things.

1 comment:

Lillie said...

That particular Cup was only memorable because of Damien's personal problems and his eventual triumph. He's a well-known and respected jockey in Australia, so everyone wanted him to win that race. I can appreciate that you might not understand that since you aren't from here. But for people like me, who cried when Damien won, this movie was a beautiful dedication to Damien and to Jason.