Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ivory Elephants

Author: Tom
Location: New Jersey

"Ivory Elephants"

Directed by Terry George
Written by John Logan
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Cinematography by Robert Richardson
Film Editing by Joel Cox
Art Direction by Stuart Craig
Costumes by Colleen Atwood
Original Score by Howard Shore
Featuring the Song “One Game” by Bono and Wyclef Jean

Principal Cast:

Ayuna Dindane- Presley Chweneyagae
Bonaventure Kalou- Cuba Gooding Jr.
Didier Drogba- Jamie Foxx
Bakari Kone- Derek Luke
Michel Henri- Gerard Depardieu
President Laurent Gbagbo- Morgan Freeman
Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny- Don Cheadle
Tommy Smyth- Ian Holm

Tagline: "Eleven young men, with nothing in common but their love for a game, will decide the fate of a nation. Inspired by a True Story"

Synopsis: The true story of the Ivory Coast’s National Soccer Team in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. After years of civil war between the Christian North and the Muslim South, the president of the Ivory Coast (Freeman) called a truce in order to unite the country to support its team’s first berth in the World Cup.

There was internal conflict on the team as players came from both sides of the country, but coach Michel Henri (Depardieu) was able to bring the players together to work as a team. Much of the focus of the film is on Ayuna Dindane (Chweneyagae) who helped lead his team in both the qualifying rounds and in the tournament. Despite losing its first two matches and without the possibility of advancing to the next round, the team persevered, coming back from a 2-0 deficit against Serbia and Montenegro to win 3-2, thanks to two goals by Dindane. With the support of its war-torn country, the Ivory Coast was able to overcome great adversity and succeed on the world’s biggest stage.

What the press would say:

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to jump on this story, and who can blame them? There hasn’t been a sports story this inspirational since the miracle on ice. The incredible true story of the Ivory Coast soccer team, a group of young men whose talent stopped the civil war in their home country, is brought to the screen superbly by director Terry George.

George is able to get the root of the story, examining the conflict on the team and the way they were able to work together to make their country proud. John Logan’s screenplay plays out like a soccer game: fast paced, exciting, and with some thrilling moments. Presley Chweneyagae gives a powerful follow up to his starring role in Tsotsi with his English-speaking debut. He is always a leader, on the field or in the locker room, and the amazing heart his character possesses shines through. Gerard Depardieu gives his best performance in years as the team’s gritty, no-nonsense coach, Morgan Freeman is inspiring as the president of the Ivory Coast, trying to hold his nation together in a time of chaos, and Ian Holm is delightful as commentator Tommy Smyth. Ivory Elephants is a powerful true story, and one that will move everyone who watches it.

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture
Best Director- Terry George
Best Actor- Presley Chweneyagae
Best Supporting Actor- Gerard Depardieu
Best Supporting Actor- Ian Holm
Best Supporting Actor- Morgan Freeman
Best Original Screenplay- John Logan
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Costumes
Best Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Original Score
Best Original Song “One Game”

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