Sunday Matinee: Goalie [Film]

 

“The life of a professional hockey player was not always a glamorous one. For legendary goaltender Terry Sawchuk, each save means one more gash to his unmasked face and one more drink to numb the pain. Even with a wife and seven children at home, he is haunted by the void left from his childhood which he tried to fill with cheering crowds. Sawchuk traveled across the country racking up 103 shutouts and 400 stitches to his face, proving that this is a man who lives, breathes, and dies a goalie.” – October Coast PR

 

******

 

Hello Folks! While we have absolutely adored the films we have already covered this year thus far, I am here to say that I believe we have found our first EPIC drama of the year thus far in the form of this hockey lover’s wet dream of a film known as Goalie. Yes, when it comes to the world of hockey, I would presume to imagine that die-hard fans will probably be all too familiar with the career and life of Terry Sawchuck. I mean, what a damn story this guy had. But, I am also here to say that as somebody who doesn’t really follow hockey (like, at all) Goalie is a film that is indeed about hockey, but is actually about so much more than the game. While it is the central theme of the film, the act of sliding a puck over ice, possibly directly into a person’s mouth, is for another life force within the story of Terry Sawchuk himself, or at the very least, another character in his story. His dedication to the game seamed to stem back to a his time spent as a misguided youth who rarely saw sensitivity as a positive attribute, although he seemed to have plenty of it in his heart, yet his alcohol abuse that was used to numb his physical pain would sadly bleed over into his emotional wounds as well. Which is a pain that cannot be iced or heated away over time. This is the major takeaway from the film as a whole.

While it’s easy to consider the sport of hockey to be just another game to play, it is important to realize that at times there is a level of commitment to a self-destructive lifestyle that is simply unexplainable. This is why the story of a man who receives 400 stitches to the face over one career is so exhilarating and wildly unbelievable. But here it is Folks, for those interested in the human condition to a fault, Goalie is the film for you. Again, you don’t need to be a follower of the sport to enjoy this masterpiece.

 

 

Writer and director Adriana Maggs, as well as her sister, co-writer Jane Maggs, have crafted a story about a life that many have most likely never heard of before. Or, one that some are all too familiar with. Either way, Adriana and her band of talented cohorts have created something absolutely beautiful with Goalie. So much of why this film is so wonderful is obviously because of the writing. But as we have shared in the past, without the right people to deliver the lines, the storytelling just won’t work. And hot damn if they didn’t hit the nail (puck?) directly on the head in having Mark O’Brien portray Sawchuk himself. The intensity and passion that I could only imagine the real life Terry having is prominent and incredible through Mark. And of course, having one of the greatest screen actors of our time, Kevin Pollak, portraying the legendary Jack Adams is just another given that you are in for something truly special. But, let’s not forget about the one who truly stole the show for me, the one person with just enough sense to see the truth around them, but too love-stricken to completely avoid a terrible situation, which would be Georgina Reilly’s incredible portrayal of Sawchuk’s often disregarded companion, Pat Morey. To say that Georgina’s performance was anything less than brilliant would be a damned war crime in cinema. She’s that great. All the writing, performances, cinematography, all of it…it’s all a delight and I have no qualms in calling Goalie the first great film of 2020.

 

Goalie will be in select theaters on January 31st, and available on DVD and VOD on February 25th from Dark Star Pictures.

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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