Coming to theatres today, Friday, November 2:
IN SEARCH OF GREATNESS
An exploration of the qualities that lead to athletic excellence.
Polsky’s film hinges on an intriguing idea – what insight do some of the world’s most iconic athletes have about what made them so good that they have become synonymous with their sport? To that end, he has gathered hockey’s Wayne Gretzky, football’s Jerry Rice, and soccer’s Pelé for in-depth interviews, together with some fairly tangential archival on folks like Venus and Serena Williams (perhaps to offset the very male focus of the film) and commentary from experts. These icons do offer some serious food for thought – chiefly the rejection of the notion that they are necessarily physically exceptional or that an outrageous amount of regimented practice led to their stardom, instead touting the importance of creativity, flexibility, and passion. The film itself is incredibly conventional, however, consisting primarily of talking heads, and an eye-catching titles sequence aside, fails to take full advantage of the dynamism made possible by its subjects’ long and well-documented careers.