An all to rare trip to the movies tonight took us to the GFT to watch The Program. Firstly this was the first time I’ve been in screen 3 at the GFT, which was small, but nice, very clean and with the well behaved audience you expect at the GFT – only it was very cold!
So, to the movie. The Program is about the legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong. Seven times winner of the Tour de France and the iconic figure at the head of the sport when I, like many others, discovered how fascinating this race is. However he is also one of the worlds best known sport cheats taking and making normal the use of performance enhancers and bullying anyone who didn’t agree out of the sport.
This movie is supposed to be based on the work of Irish journalist David Walsh (played by Chris O’Dowd) who pursues Lance and others in the sport involved in drug taking. Personally I would like to have seen a lot more of his story, but predictably the film focuses on Lance and tries to squeeze far to much into too short a time – in one seen we see him meeting a woman, exchanging a few words cut to them leaving a church as bride and groom – then we never see her again. For those of us who know the Lance Armstrong story there isn’t much new in this. The cycling scenes are ok but there isn’t enough.
The most interesting story (perhaps because I wasn’t aware of it) is that of Floyd Landis, a fellow rider on the team who has to struggle with not only lying to the public and to his Pennsylvanian Amish community.
If this is shown on TV it’s worth a watch, or if you are interested in cycling but don’t know the recent horrible history then it’s a place to start.