Friday, 4 December 2015

THE PROGRAM

An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fuelled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong. —IMDB

After seeing THE PROGRAM, I’ve pretty much lost any respect I had for Lance Armstrong. According to the movie, based on David Walsh’s book that partly informed THE PROGRAM, Lance Armstrong was cheating way back even before he suffered from testicular cancer. THE PROGRAM is an adequate movie which plays a lot like a documentary at times. Ben Foster, who portrays Armstrong, is brilliant. He even prepared for his role by following the same drug-taking program that Armstrong demanded from his team members. And Chris Dowd is excellent as the journalist who persisted in investigating the (literally) unbelievable achievements of Armstrong and resisted the pressure of his journalistic colleagues to abandon the story. It’s an enlightening movie and I’m glad I’ve seen it. It’s a tragic fall from grace story driven by an obsessive desire to win at all costs. The ending is particularly disappointing, but that might be the result of Armstrong’s insipid response in acknowledging his wrong doing. There’s also little consideration of the implications of the consequences of Armstrong’s cheating for the sport. Worth seeing just to be informed.


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