I’ve shared before that my favorite non-fiction sports “Rudy, Hoosiers, and Brian’s Song” grabbed me for 2 primary reasons. First, the story was essentially unknown to me and secondly the emotionality of the entire film made sure it would stay with me for years.
Films like “Miracle, 42 or Secretariat” and more talk about such prominent sports icons/events, that the movie becomes rather anti-climactic.
The newest sports movie “When The Game Stands Talls” tells the story of the powerhouse football program and De La Salle catholic school in California. Set in 2003, this legendary team coached by Bob Ladouceur (played terrifically by Jim Caviezel) has run off 151 straight and 12 straight state championships. In any sport, this is utterly remarkable but in football, simply unheard of.
As the preview clearly shows, “The Streak” ends, there is drama, discord etc and then redemption. So no real surprises in the movie based on the previews. What I find was enjoyable about the film was the end of the streak occurred very early in the film. A majority of the movie was about the journey back to the top. How young people, the parents (outside of 1), the coaches, the community slowly rebuild and refocus. Understanding there is more than life than football wins. Rather the focus on family, community, teamwork etc. etc.
Movie worked well and moves towards a very big game at the end.
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I really enjoyed this true story and the actors (including Laura Dern). I think the unity and friendship and respect between the life long head and assistant coach is very interesting. Add in their decision to stay at this high school (still today) despite many, many major college job offers.