‘Yeah. You’re completely mad, man. But, hey, you kinda gotta be mad to do this sport, right?’
Directed by Dexter Fletcher (yes, that Dexter Fletcher from all sorts of British gangster movies, Bugsy Malone – who also directed last year’s superb Elton John musical biopic Rocketman) Eddie The Eagle is a mostly based on truth retelling of the very brief Olympic career of Michael Edwards (here played by Taron Egerton), who in 1988 became the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, finishing last in the 70 m and 90 m events.
The film follows Eddie through his early years as he discovered a yearning for Olympic glory, albeit whilst having little talent to warrant it… When he’s rejected by the British Olympic board for not being refined enough to represent his country at the 1988 games in Calgary, Alberta in Canada – Eddie decides to take things into his own hands, travelling on his own to a training facility in German to teach himself how to be a ski jumper.
Once there he meets a curmudgeonly ex-pro (in the form of Hugh Jackman) who eventually and rather begrudgingly agrees to coach Eddie. What follows is a really beautiful and feelgood, against-the-odds underdog story about friendship, finding your self-worth and your place in the world. Few films are this delightful and positive – I challenge you not to get swept up in Eddie’s story and root for him along the way.
Click here to read my extended review.