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Invictus, please

Posted by Wesley Morris  October 28, 2009 10:23 PM

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So somewhere around the sixth inning of Game 1 of the Turnpike Series, Warner Bros. decided to give America a look at Clint Eastwood's annual slab of Oscar chum. It's "Invictus," apparently the story of how Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon learned to give speeches with South African accents. Freeman is Nelson Mandela. Damon is in a tight shirt. And this movie is kidding, right?

Freeman turns to Damon's rugby star to win the country a World Cup. It's a true story, and the World Series is the place to promote it. But when Damon, locked in a scrum, his face squirted with blood, screams to his fellow players that "This" - sigh - "is our destiny," you have to wonder when post-apartheid South Africa turned into "Braveheart." He could be talking about the championship. He could be talking about the Academy Awards. Who knows: These rolling eyes of mine might be all wet come December. But that poster to the left, made by a fan, apparently, with the movie's original title, shows that no matter how unpromising things now look, they once were worse.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

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