Movies: Story makes the big screen and a holiday comedy on offer

2009-12-11 00:00

THE 1995 World Cup Final was, to most people around the world, little more than a thrilling rugby match. But here in South Africa, it helped to heal the wounds of the past.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, Invictus, which opens at CineCentre today, chronicles how President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) and the Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), joined forces to turn their individual hopes — the president, to unite the country; the captain, to lead his team to World Cup glory — into one shared goal with the motto “One team, one country”.

“This story takes place at a critical point in Mandela’s presidency,” Eastwood explains.

“I think he demonstrated great wisdom in incorporating sport to reconcile his country. He knows the white population and the black population will ultimately have to work together as a team or the country will not succeed, so he shows a lot of creativity using a sports team as a means to an end.”

Freeman, who also serves as an executive producer on the film, says of Invictus: “This is an important story about a world-shaking event that too few people know about.

“I cannot think of any moment in history when a nation coalesced so suddenly and so completely.

“I was proud to have the opportunity to tell this story.”

Also new to CineCentre is the comedy, Couple’s Retreat, starring Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell and Faizon Love.

Based on an original idea of Vaughn’s, the comedy follows four couples who embark on a journey to a tropical island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three set out to jet ski, spa and enjoy some fun in the sun.

They soon discover, however, that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional.

Suddenly, their group-rate vacation comes at a price. What follows is a hilarious look at real-world problems faced by all couples.

Still at CineCentre: The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Astro Boy; Old Dogs; 2012; Bandslam.

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