Elaine Cassidy

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The Program Review

Very Good

A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the triumphant and scandalous career of cyclist Lance Armstrong. And the energetic approach helps bring out several layers in Armstrong's perspective, exploring why a top sportsman would cheat to win. It also features a steely performance from Ben Foster that captures Armstrong's physicality and personality, but not in the usual ways.

When he was 25, Armstrong (Foster) was already a star, but his career was cut short in 1996 by advanced testicular cancer. After recovering, he retrained himself as a long-distance cyclist and launched a global cancer charity, then went on to win seven Tour de France titles. His friend, Irish journalist David Walsh (Chris O'Dowd) noticed that his improvement was too good to be true, and continually challenged him to be honest about his work with controversial doctor Michele Ferari (Guillaume Canet). Armstrong defended his name in court, but years later the truth came out that throughout his career he had been systematically cheating with banned drugs and blood-cleansing processes. The truth came out in 2010, but he didn't admit the deception until an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

Since this was so thoroughly reported in the media, and finely detailed in Alex Gibney's acclaimed documentary The Armstrong Lie, there aren't any surprises in this movie. And despite being based on Walsh's book Seven Deadly Sins, the film takes Armstrong's perspective, trying to get under his skin to reveal his motivation. John Hodge's screenplay is insightful, building some strong dramatic suspense along the way, and the film is sharply well-directed by Stephen Frears, a filmmaker better known for softer movies (like Philomena and The Queen). But he guides Foster to a strikingly physical performance that's sweaty and aggressive, and also darkly internalised. Stand-outs in the supporting cast include Jesse Plemons as a fellow cyclist haunted by his conscience and Denis Menochet as Armstrong's team manager.

Continue reading: The Program Review

The Program Trailer


Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer the cyclist went on to win numerous titles around the world including seven gold consecutive gold medals for the Tour De France, which has become known as the hardest bike rice in the world. He had few doubters, everyone loved the superman that he'd become and wanted to believe in the story surrounding his success. 

One of those few doubters was David Walsh, a sports reporter with The Sunday Times newspaper. After digging into Lance and his team mates, Walsh began to build a case with more and more information backing his thoughts on Lance. One such piece of evidence was Armstrong's connection to an Italian doctor named Michele Ferrari. What followed was years of Walsh digging and uncovering the real truth behind Armstrong. 

The Program is based on David Walsh's 2012 book 'Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong'.

Elaine Cassidy - The West End Premiere of The 3 Little Pigs held at the Palace Theatre - Arrivals at Palace Theatre - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 6th August 2015

Elaine Cassidy

The Program - First Look Trailer


Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt among other accolades, feats that were made all the more impressive following his battle and subsequent recovery from testicular cancer. Despite his illness, he seemed better than ever before on the road on his return and by 2004, he had attracted the attention of reporter David Walsh, who grew suspicious that the athlete was using performance enhancing drugs, along with many of his cyclist friends. Armstrong used a genius combination of loopholes and convincing acting to make people believe otherwise but he was ultimately exposed and shamed for his tactics by a determined journalist.

Continue: The Program - First Look Trailer

The Loft Trailer


Five married friends decide to buy a loft together, and each owned a key, but no one else did. The men use the loft as a place to have affairs with their various mistresses. But one day, one of the men goes to the loft, only to discover an unknown woman dead in the master bed. When all the members are assembles, they realise that they have to call the police - thus exposing their secret of their loft to their wives. But with their other halves now knowing about their dirty little secrets, the men are forced to look into their past to find out just who killed the mysterious woman.

Continue: The Loft Trailer

The Others Review


OK

So effective is writer-director Alejandro Amenábar's manipulation of the viewer's psyche that his English language debut -- a seriously goosepimply homage to old-school haunted house movies entitled "The Others" -- would be unshakably bone-chilling even if you blacked out everything on the screen except Nicole Kidman's porcelain face, her eyes frozen wide with fear.

The scariest parts of this movie -- which takes place in an creaky, empty estate house on the eerily foggy English Channel of Jersey just after World War II -- have no music, no special effects, no bleeding walls, rattling furniture, claps of thunder or flashes of lightning. The scariest parts of this movie consist, quite simply, of Kidman and her two children becoming frightened out of their wits by the very presence of unseen spirits that have come to occupy their home.

For all practical purposes, Grace (Kidman) is trapped in this house because her two children (Alakina Mann and James Bentley) are fatally allergic to sunlight, and she spends her days obsessed with their protection, closing heavy curtains and locking doors of any room they enter to prevent even a sliver of light from invading. Without a car or telephone since the occupying Nazis abandoned the island, the family would be helpless if not for the coincidental arrival of three new servants (the old staff recently vanished without explanation) who came round looking for work because they'd served at the house under a previous owner.

Continue reading: The Others Review

Elaine Cassidy

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Elaine Cassidy Movies

The Program Movie Review

The Program Movie Review

A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the...

The Program Trailer

The Program Trailer

Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer...

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The Program - First Look Trailer

The Program - First Look Trailer

Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt...

The Loft Trailer

The Loft Trailer

Five married friends decide to buy a loft together, and each owned a key, but...

The Others Movie Review

The Others Movie Review

So effective is writer-director Alejandro Amenábar's manipulation of the viewer's psyche that his English language...

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