'The Flying Scotsman'
(Jonny Lee Miller, Sean Brown, Joseph Carney, et al / DVD / NR / (2006) 2007 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Based on the incredible true story of amateur cyclist Graeme Obree, who breaks the world one-hour record on a bike he made out of washing machine parts. The Flying Scotsman is a true story based on the inspirational and remarkable Scottish cyclist, Graeme Obree. In 1993, this unemployed amateur broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of scrap metal and parts of a washing machine. Shortly after Graeme broke the record, he lost his title when another cyclist beat his time. This only served to motivate Graeme to break the record again, while also battling mental illness.
DVD Verdict: I'm just finished watching one of the most ejoyable, exciting cinematic experiences of my 51 years! As a recreational cyclist, and having trained hard and at least attempted racing, I knew that I would enjoy a film which focused on the life of a real athlete - rather than a fictional styling (Breaking Away) or one race (Hell On Wheels).
With 50% Scot blood in my veins I felt at home with the voices and scenery, but I found myself quickly intensely involved with the characters and swept away by the quality of the cinematography and the stunning surround sound. That said, this film is also the very definition of big screen cinema entertainment.
I loved the way that Graeme's struggle with manic depression is given respectful depth - especially since his illness was an integral part of what drove him obsessively to achieve. Too few films deal effectively with the stress and reality of being bipolar. We need to see that he is loved, respected and supported as living with a mental illness, but also that he can accept polite active intervention.
This is a remarkable story - extremely well told. Full praise to all of the cast - especially Jonny Lee Miller, who looks and lives the part and to Brian Cox, one of Britain's greatest dramatic actors (see "The Lost Language Of Cranes"). Indeed, I've read that the film is a more than adequate precis of Graeme's story, so I'm very much looking forward to reading his autobiography as well. This is both a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and a Full Screen Version and comes with the Special Features of:
Full Screen Feature
Trailers: The Namesake, Once, 3rd Cross