THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED

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American amateur Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) takes on a 1913 U.S. mở cửa field that includes the formidable British golfer Harry Vardon in "The Greachạy thử trò chơi Ever Played."

"The Greakiểm tra Game Ever Played" was a game of golf, in case you thought your team might have sầu been involved. In 1913, a working-class American amateur named Francis Ouimet defeated the great British player Harry Vardon lớn win the U.S. Open. Here is a movie that tells that story và exactly that story, devoting a considerable amount of its running time khổng lồ the final rounds and playing like one a superb sports telecast. Because some of the opening scenes seem borrowed from other underdog movies, I was surprised lớn realize, toward the kết thúc, how gripping the movie had become.

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Shia LaBeouf stars, as Francis Ouimet, a poor boy who lives with his family across from a golf course in Brookline, Mass. From his windows và the front porch, Francis can see the golfers at play. So can his father, Arthur (Elias Koteas), an immigrant who steadfastly opposes his son"s passion for golf: "A man should know his place." But Francis has a natural gift for the game and is encouraged by his mother (Marnie McPhail) và two players at the local club. As a teenager, he actually attends a demonstration by the great Harry Vardon.

As for Vardon, we find that he, too, is a working-class boy, born across from a golf course. Or, more precisely, born directly on one, since in the first scene of the movie we see his family"s trang chính on the Isle of Jersey being surveyed by men who plan to lớn tear it down for the construction of a course. He asks one of the men what "golf" is. "A game for gentlemen," he is told.

Harry is not a gentleman, but he is a class act, & as played by Stephen Dillane, he becomes a perfect foil in the great 1913 game. It would be too easy khổng lồ make hyên a villain, but Harry và Francis both embody toàn thân the tradition of generosity và good sportsmanship later practiced by Sam Snead. To Francis, Harry is an unspeakably grvà man. But Harry sees himself in young Francis, và he knows that in the British class system he may be a great golfer but he will never be in the Establishment.

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The villain of the piece is Lord Northcliffe (Peter Firth), then the proprietor of the powerful Daily Mail & Daily Mirror, và the underwriter of the British team. He expects nothing less than a championship from Harry, confiding: "The prime minister has promised me a seat in his cabinet if I bring bachồng this title." That seems a little unlikely, since to lớn comm& the Mail & the Mirror was much more grvà than a cabinet seat, but the fact that he would say it tells you a lot about hyên ổn.The other central character in the story is a pudgy 10-year-old caddy named Eddie Lowery (Josh Flitter), who works for Francis for không lấy phí & offers hyên sound advice with unshakable self-confidence. Eddie, who seems to be 10 going on 40, is one of those kids who always has và always will know it all; it helps that he is sweet. The movie also involves a romance with the fragrant Sarah Wallis (Peyton List), a young woman who begins a friendship with Francis that looks promising until the movie essentially sidelines it in the excitement of the Greatest Game.


This is the second film directed by the actor Bill Paxton, and it could not possibly be more different from his first, "Frailty" (2001). In that one, he played a father who leads his two sons in a series of murders that were commanded, he believes, by an angel. "Frailty" was dark and brilliant and filled with fearful prospects; now this sunny film, which plays almost as if it"s emotional rehab for Paxton.

I am not a golf người but found "The Greathử nghiệm trò chơi Ever Played" absorbing all the same, partly because of the human element, partly because Paxton và his technicians have sầu used every trick in the book khổng lồ dramatize the flight & destination of the golf balls. We follow balls through the air, we watch them creep toward the green or stray inkhổng lồ the rough, we get not only an eagle"s-eye view but a club"s-eye view and sometimes, I am convinced, a ball"s-eye view.

The technique is at the service of a game in which everything is at risk, & we like both players; our affection for them makes everything trickier, & certainly as the final rounds are played, the games themselves seem to have been scripted khổng lồ create as much suspense as possible. I have sầu no idea if the movie is based, stroke for stroke, on the actual competition at the 1913 U.S. xuất hiện. I guess I could find out, but I don"t want to know. I lượt thích it this way.