|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The Program|
|Production country:||Großbritannien 2015|
|Running time:||Approx. 103 min.|
International cycling was shaken to its foundations when it was confirmed in 2012 that Lance Armstrong, of all people, the hero of many cycling fans and role model for numerous other athletes, had been doping for years. The man, who after a successful cancer treatment, achieved spectacular victories in the Tour de France, only managed to do so with the help of drugs. As a result, he was stripped of all titles from 1998 and banned from professional cycling himself for life. In 2013, he admitted to doping in an interview, but didn't really show any remorse. And so, for many, Lance Armstrong is now quite simply the biggest cheat in sporting history.
Director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) now traces this incredible story of scandal in his hugely entertaining sports drama The Program - At Any Price. Based on the novel by journalist David Walsh - played in the film by Chris O`Dowd - the viewer follows a young Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster) on his first participation in the Tour de France, his initial successes, his illness and the subsequent spectacular victories that made him a legend. In the process, Frears attempts to paint a picture of an ambitious man who is willing to do anything for success - even if it means going down some not-so-legal roads. His will to stand at the top of the podium takes precedence over his sporting integrity, even if at the same time the doggedness with which he brought his body back into shape after the gruelling chemotherapy is shown. Of course, this was not possible through doping alone.
A superbly written screenplay and first-class actors, a particularly in the cycling scenes stirring camera work and a light pinch of British humor make The Program - At Any Price an extremely entertaining drama, which sometimes has satirical features and then again like a gripping thriller. Even though every viewer should probably know how this big scandal was uncovered and what the consequences were for Armstrong and his teammates, the film is never boring due to the dense, multi-layered production.
This is also thanks to the strong acting of the actors. Ben Foster, in particular, delivers a great performance as Lance Armstrong that simply captivates you as a viewer. Frears and his team have created a sports drama that is an absolute delight on a dramaturgical, visual and acting level. A film that shows in an entertaining way where delusions of grandeur can lead and what the consequences can be when you sell your ideals and your soul for success. Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp