That’s not a problem with the new movie “Invictus,” where Morgan Freeman easily slips into Nelson Mandela’s skin, and we nearly forget that’s Matt Damon with the South African accent.
Based on a true story and directed by Clint Eastwood, “Invictus” is a sports movie that goes beyond the realm of sports.
When he was in prison, Mandela actively pulled against the South African rugby team because his jailers were fans.
As president of the country, Mandela needs to find a way to convince white residents that he’s not out to wipe away everything they hold dear.
Mandela becomes an open fan of the team, which annoys many of his supporters. He encourages the team’s captain, Francois Pienaar (Damon), to get the team ready to compete when the World Cup of rugby comes to South Africa.
As with any sports movie, there are training sequences as the team slowly improves. With “Invictus,” those scenes are interspersed with Mandela’s attempts to govern a fractured nation.
A subplot illustrates the problem as the white and black members of Mandela’s security detail learn to work together.
I found “Invictus” full of surprising details and fine performances, but I also felt an emotional distance while watching this true story play out.
A great sports movie should sweep you away, but there’s still room in the world for a merely good movie. I give “Invictus” a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Invictus” an A.
“The two movies to see this holiday season are ‘Invictus’ and ‘The Blind Side,’ excellent films.”
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.