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TIFF 2013 Review: The Armstrong Lie


The Armstrong Lie

You may feel as if you are suffering from Lance Armstrong fatigue, as the famed and rather notorious braggart of an influential American cyclist has made headlines for some time now in regards to steroids. Fear not, for there is a something to cure such Armstrong exhaustion – and it’s perfectly legal.

The Armstrong Lie¸ a very recently finished documentary about the seven-time Tour de France winner (or not, the titles have been stripped) features a new interview with Armstrong, and a very keen eye on his checkered past and the casualties of his rise.

It is fascinating and expansive look at hubris and perversion that is perhaps so subjective that it tells a complete, unbiased story. That is to say, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney falls into the same category as so many others: in love with the magic of Armstrong’s story, then angered, confused, and heartbroken at the revelation of cheating.

Gibney was filming a documentary about Armstrong’s Tour comeback in 2009, hoping for an uplifting story – as he filmed though, accusations started to grow, and it became a very different (and honestly, far more interesting) piece of storytelling.

There are montages here that would do The Daily Show proud, though the film doesn’t want to revel in Armstrong’s hypocrisy. In fact, it still wants to hope that Armstrong is reformed, and it prevails in its obvious crisis of heart. Armstrong cheated, like many others, but he couldn’t just keep quiet – and he still can’t.

Sunday September 8 – Ryerson Theatre – 2:45 PM
Monday September 9 – The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – 2:15 PM

[star v=45]

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.