The film follows the life of famous 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine from his youth days in Oregon to the University of Oregon where he worked with the legendary coach Bill Bowerman, later to Olympics in Munich and his early death at 24 in a car crash.Written by
Jaded by Hollywood's usually pathetic efforts to portray the real world of sports, I was prepared to be disappointed by this movie. I grew up in Oregon, attended U of O (the setting for much of the movie), and witnessed some of the events portrayed. So it was with a surge of satisfaction that I watched this movie that got it right at each point along the way. The attention to detail was astounding, and the recreation of races was uncanny - I compared it to actual news photos later, and the actors playing competing runners were chosen so well that their bodies and running styles actually match the original men. When a movie cares this much about being faithful to details, you can be sure it will take a quality approach overall. Billy Crudup's portrayal of Pre is full of inner fire and consistent with the real man; Donald Sutherland is marvelously powerful and yet understated as Bill Bowerman; the examination of the real reasons athletes compete is thorough and moving. Innovative use of music and camera work brings the race scenes to life, and if this movie doesn't make you want to immediately go out for "a quick ten," you're a completely hopeless sedentarian-- in heart and body. This is among the five finest movies about athletics ever made.
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