racing scenes, there are some rather clumsy attempts at inserting other
Aussie sporting events such as AFL football to help set the scene.
are some good performances by the lead cast. Stephen Curry is, of
course, good value in the lead role (although it is hard not to still
visualise him as Graham Kennedy after this previous best work in The King).
Brendan Gleeson puts in a good but surprisingly low key performance,
while Daniel MacPherson did not particularly impress as the lead's
brother which could be attributed to the bare bones material he was
Shaun Micallef plays a serious role for a change and does well.
best performer for me was Tom Burlinson as Dermot Weld's Irish
assistant. Any iconic Australian film about a horse would not be
complete without Burlinson and he makes quite an impression as the
man-behind-the-scenes bringing the Irish horse Media Puzzle to its peak
for the Melbourne Cup.
In fact, Burlinson is not the only link to previous Aussie big screen films about horses. The Cup is helmed by Simon Wincer who started his career as a director of Crawford Productions television series (The Sullivans, Young Ramsay) and then went on to direct such iconic films as Phar Lap and The Lighthorsemen.
As well as directing The Cup, Wincer also wrote and produced the film.
Bruce Rowland returns from The Man From Snowy River and Phar Lap to pen some memorable soundtrack music (in some parts actually reminiscent of his work on those films).
I also enjoyed playing "spot the celebrity" during The Cup
as many sporting and news personalities appear. Also watch out for (it
seems) every actor in Australia in small roles (such as Bill Hunter,
Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Alan Hopgood, Lawrence Mooney, Marty Fields and Reg
Of note is singer Colleen Hewett as Damien Oliver's
mother who actually had acting roles as far back as the 1970s (I
particularly remember her critically acclaimed performance as a blind
girl in TV's Young Ramsay).
Despite some flaws and the expectation of the inevitable teary death scene, The Cup
is a worthwhile addition not only the well-worn sports genre but also
to the resurgence in Australian cinema following the recent hit Red Dog and Working Dog's comedy Any Questions For Ben?
DVD Special Features
Movie 80% Extras: 50%