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Rated PG-13 · 134 minutes · 2016

Biography, Historical drama
How to let the air out of what should have been a rip-roaring historical drama about track and field superstar Jesse Owens, a true African-American sports hero, and his triumph over Adolf Hitler’s “Aryan supermen” at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. First, paint Owens (played by Canadian actor Stephan James) as a dull, inarticulate, one-dimensional character. Secondly, give the worst of the Nazis — specifically Carice Van Houten’s Leni Riefenstahl — a sympathetic treatment. The athletic action scenes are fine and dandy, as is Jason Sudeikis as Owens’ coach, but when Jesse is not running or jumping he recedes into the background. The French-German-Canadian production, written by the UK’s Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse and directed by TV vet Stephen Hopkins, mixes its messages and dilutes its advocacy to the point of impenetrability. Better than nothing at all, but Jesse Owens really deserves more (134 min.).
Official Site:
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Producer: Jean-Charles Levy, Luc Dayan, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Dominique Séguin, Stephen Hopkins, Kate Garwood, Karsten Brünig, Nicolas Manuel, Patrick Teng, Paul Teng, Jonathan Bronfman, David Garrett, Sarah MacDonald, Al Munteanu, Mark Slone and Thierry Potok
Cast: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree, Shanice Banton, Carice van Houten, Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Chantel Riley, David Kross, Jonathan Higgins, Barnaby Metschurat, Jeremy Ferdman and Giacomo Gianniotti




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