Graeme Obree - The Movie - Road Cycling UK

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Graeme Obree – The Movie

We seem to be on a bit of a film theme this week. Maybe it’s to do with the end of summer, evenings drawing in, and sheepskin slippers starting to look more attractive evening footwear than the carbon-soled racing shoes we’ve all be wearing for the past few months. Well we’re big fans of Jonny Lee Miller and even bigger fans of Graeme Obree so a meeting of the two on the silver screen is something to look forward too.

Well, if you’ve read the book, and maybe even met the man, now you can watch the film of “L’incroyable Monsieur Obree”. The feature-length film of Graeme Obree’s battle with the clock and the demons of his mind was premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Rather like Graeme’s famous “Old Faithful” bicycle, the film seems to have been made on a tight budget, but with some great components (cast and director). It’s also a very Scottish affair. Ex Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller stars as Graeme Obree (with, bizarrely, Graeme standing in as a body-double of himself for many cycling scenes); and top TV director Douglas MacKinnon calls the shots.

Sadly, the RCUK invite to this prestigious red-carpet affair must have got lost in the post (we’re investigating), so you won’t see us rubber-necking in the background of the interviews at the premiere at www.bbc.co.uk/dna/filmnetwork/eiff

As with most low-budget films, you’ll probably have to travel hundreds of miles to some obscure cinema to catch this before it comes out on DVD. Maybe it’s one to put on Santa’s list – after all it’s only 4 months to Christmas.

So far we’ve had to rely on the critics for a taste of the film as it hasn’t pushed Pirates of the Caribbean out of the local multiplex yet. Here’s a round up of what the critics have been saying:

On-line film site Films Inside Out gave the film a rave review and score of 4 stars out of 5, saying that “the film has mainstream appeal and is a must-see for all cyclists.”

Filmstalker went one better, giving it 5 out of 5, and even though they didn’t really want to go and see it, concluded that “….this film is absolutely superb, filled with stirring performances and a fabulous story full of heart and emotion.”

But The Guardian’s critic found it a bit cheesy, likening it to ‘Gregory’s Girl meets Chariots of Fire’. While that sounds like a great combination to me, I might be showing my age, and after all, what do I know about films? They gave it 2 out of 5. Well, what do film critics know about bikes?

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