Stand and Deliver
Review by Ross Anthony

Even as far away on the continent as Kenya, locals referred to Nelson Mandela as a man and a half. Back in the 90's, I spent a year in Africa. Some of my Kenyan friends showed obvious and unrestrained respect for Mandela, that impressed me to learn a bit more about the man. Just a little research revealed that in a world of men disinterested in leading with integrity, he stands out. Even back here in the States, young people would more often quote Barkley, "I don't get paid to be a role model…" than Victorian poetry, "I am the captain of my soul." Learned elders and even hardworking Joes would likely shake their heads and curse the shame of all this apathy. But Mandela searched for opportunity. He saw the allure of sports celebrity and redirected its energy toward a humanitarian cause.

Invictus is the name of that Victorian poem, the one that gave Mandela strength to endure decades in a prison cell. But, Invictus, the movie, is not about prison, nor the struggle that preceded his presidency. It's about Mandela and his nation's Rugby team. Other stories are thankfully touched upon, but are only teasers. In fact, the film so squarely focuses on this one idea, that as a cinematic enterprise it does not enjoy the triumph of its chosen historical account. Slow, and subtle, smiling brightly, the picture wins audiences with the charm of Mandela. And with the charm of Mandela it cajoles forgiveness for its own limitations. But, Eastwood is unable to give the arc much ascent. Damon aggressively conquers the accent, but has little scripting to bring much character to his character. We like him, but aren't invested enough.

Lastly, although the genius of Mandela's plan is more about unity than Rugby, the end of the film becomes more about Rugby than unity. Still, in all, this is a valiant effort. I hope it inspires people of all countries, races, ages, to look more into this hero of our time -- this man and a half.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Invictus. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Screenplay by Anthony Peckham. Produced by Lori McCreary, Robert Lorenz, Mace Neufeld at Warner Bros.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 11-Dec-2009 09:43:29 PST