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"We Are Marshall" deserves a championship - CinemaDave

Dec. 31st, 2006 05:05 pm "We Are Marshall" deserves a championship

It is a shame that "Rocky Balboa" and "We Are Marshall" opened the same week. Both sports movies are life affirming that address the subject of grief. "We Are Marshall" is a factual depiction of a small college town in West Virginia that suffers the tragedy of a plane crash. "We Are Marshall" looks at survivor's guilt and post traumatic stress.

It takes an outsider like Coach Jack Lengyl (Matthew McConaughey) to help heal the town. It also takes the commitment of grieving father like Coach Red Dawson (Matthew Fox) to pass the torch of tradition. Last, but not least - there is President Donald Dedmon (2006's most reliable actor - David Strahairn) an academic who does not understand the game of football, but understands the importance the sport has for the community.

When I took a Dale Carnegie Course 16 years ago, I remember a woman who outlived her son. She brought the room to tears as she said, "It is so important to have a hobby to survive." Both "Rocky Balboa" and "We Are Marshall" shows the cathartic value of losing oneself to a task.

"We Are Marshall" opens with a shock and then finds a way to make ticket buyers appreciate the finer things in life. A director whose previous credits include bubble gum movies like "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," McG proves he has the sensitivity to direct a film like "We Are Marshall."

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