Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy
The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa’s rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship match.
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The cast includes: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge, Patrick Mofokeng, Matt Stern, Julian Lewis Jones, Adjoa Andoh, Marguerite Wheatley, Leleti Khumalo, and Patrick Lyster
IMDB member from Canada
The story of how Nelson Mandela used the World Cup of Rugby to unite the people of South Africa. A very well told story with Clint Eastwood showing why he is one of the best directors in Hollywood. Morgan Freeman does a good job as Mandela, but it wasn’t my favorite performance he’s given us. However, Matt Damon, who plays Francois Pienaar, captain of the national rugby team, delivers an emotional and believable performance that really draws you into what was taking place during the conflict between the whites and blacks of their nation. The South African cities and landscapes are beautifully shot and the scenes during the rugby matches placed you in the action, without any nauseating feelings. An uplifting film that left me with a sense of hope and belief that we still have a chance for mankind to come together before it is too late.
Did You Know?
Nelson Mandela himself has said that only Morgan Freeman could portray him. And so Freeman was the first actor cast.
Before production began, Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary made a trip to South Africa to get Nelson Mandela’s blessing for the film. According to McCreary, Freeman started off by saying, “Madiba, we’ve been working a long time on this other project, but we’ve just read something that we think might get to the core of who you are…” Before he had finished, Madiba said, “Ah, the World Cup.” For McCreary, that was “when I knew we were heading in the right direction.”
The word “invictus” is Latin for “invincible.” It is also the name of a short poem written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley, a British poet. The poem was written while Henley was in hospital having to have his stricken foot amputated. Mandela is heard saying lines from the poem.
Matt Damon informed Clint Eastwood about Francois Pienaar’s distinct physique: “You know, this guy is huge!” Eastwood replied, “Hell, you worry about everything else. Let me worry about that.” By structuring set-ups and camera angles, Eastwood was able to make the average-height Damon look about Pienaar’s height