Thursday, September 24, 2009

Movie #135 - The Terry Fox Story

"Courage. Heartbreak. Romance. Determination."

One of the greatest true stories of a life that inspired a nation, and now inspires millions worldwide to fight cancer. The story portrays the life of Terry Fox and his determination to raise money for cancer research.

I will not attempt to comment on the compelling life story and tremendous courage, passion, and leadership this many showed fellow Canadians with his Marathon of Hope. However, this movie captured a great deal of that story and did its best to hold true to it.

The movie is cast with Eric Fryer, a real-life amputee who won a Genie award for Best Actor. The Genies are the Canadian equivalent to the Oscars. His portrayal of Fox was spot on and since the film was only made shortly after Fox's death, it must have been difficult to portray such a Canadian hero at the time of production.

The story follows the interaction between Fox and Doug Alward (portrayed by Michael Zelniker). Alward and Fox traveled together throughout the Marathon of Hope and its through the perspective of Alward that part of the story is told. Although Fox is not showcased through much heroism in his treatment of Alward throughout the journey, it shows the pain and suffering Fox had to endure to complete it, not to mention that he didn't intend to be a hero, but just someone who wanted to motivate others and prove a point. I believe he accomplished that as he is known as one of Canada's treasures in history and still impacts the lives of many every September.

There aren't many names in this film as the cast is composed of many Canadian actors. The only true headliner is Robert Duvall, who gives this film credibility and exposure to the U.S. film audience, but his role is more narrative and minimal to the entire storyline. Rosalind Chao (Rika Noda) is probably the only other recognizable name from this cast, known for her minor television roles and appearances.

In the end, I don't think the intent of this film was to make money or win accolades. It was to tell a compelling story, one that everyone in Canada knows about. It did win almost every award available in the dramatic movie categories at the Genies that year, however, telling a brief snapshot of the life and times of Terry Fox was the main reason it was made.

I apologize that I could not find a trailer for this film, but if I do, I will add it to the post afterwards.

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