Miracle on Celluloid
Some co-workers at Disney were kind enough to set up several preview screenings for this film, which is about the gold-medal winning American hockey team at the 1980 games at Lake Placid.
The story revolves around Kurt Russell's character, coach Herb Brooks. Brooks was the last cut from Team USA in 1960, which went on to win the gold at the Olympics that year, and so he was determined to take coach the 1980 team as far as he could. His ultimate goal was to beat the Soviet Union team, which had won over 40 games in a row going into the Olympics, including one against the NHL All-Stars. The US team was comprised of American college kids, mostly from Massachussetts and Minnesota. The average age of the team was 21.
The story is compelling and is told well, and the hockey scenes are realistic. One does not go to a Disney movie for subtlety or nuance, and while the story was sappily sentimental, it was not overwhelmingly so. For once, the "U-S-A, U-S-A" chant was inspiring, rather than obnoxious.
The story is more about coming together in the face of adversity than it is about hockey per se, so if you ever played on a team or are a sports fan, it's definitely worth a look.