Urban Cinefile
"I didn't have much of a relationship with Shakespeare, to tell you the truth - "  -Jessica Lange (after making Shakepeare's Titus)
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, October 23, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

WITHOUT LIMITS

SYNOPSIS:
Based on the late Oregon running sensation Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) and his coach Bill Bowerman (Donald Sutherland), this is a film about how Prefontaine became a legend and revolutionised his sport with his competitive ferocity and rock star's ability to ignite a crowd. Bowerman, his close friend and mentor, helped create a generation of world-class runners at the University of Oregon and went on to coach at the Olympics.

"Stirring and thrilling, Without Limits is a compelling story about reaching a standard higher than victory. It's about a hero, a champion and a legend. A wild rebel who did it his way, Prefontaine's hunger to win - but only his way, is an inspiration. This second bio-pic in as many years is hard to beat, with a sharp script, excellent production values and marvellous performances. The running sequences, in slo-mo, real time, edited and cleverly sequenced will have you on the edge of your seat, chewing your nails or clenching your teeth. At one point I felt I could hardly bear the emotional angst of participating in another heart stopping race. But there is much more than the thrill of the race. The script delicately deals with the human elements, namely Prefontaine's extraordinary relationship with his coach Bill Bowerman. Billy Crudup is dazzling in the lead role; captivating emotionally and physically he combines the spirit of a wild stallion with steely determination. Donald Sutherland, in a role worthy of his talent, is outstanding as Bowerman - he captures the coach's complexity with great effect. They share the same headstrong vain determination, but connect on a different plane. Monica Potter is just right as Pre's dreamgirl. Randy Miller's expressive score colours our emotions as we explore the politics behind the race, the tactics, the psychology and the pressure. Gripping, exciting and very moving, Without limits is about following your dream, enduring pain, keeping control and believing in yourself."
Louise Keller

"If you are like me, a reluctant consumer of sporting films, you are in a for a terrific surprise. Robert Towne achieves the same sort of insight and fascination for character here as he did when he wrote Chinatown (yeah, that Robert Towne). It’s a character study not a sporting film, and engages us from every angle: the love/hate relationship between Pre and Bill, the internal anguish of the runner’s private emotional family baggage and the sheer uniqueness of his wish fulfillment as a runner are given wonderful dynamics by Towne’s filmmaking craft and art. Sutherland is in top form, again, at last with a great role to work with, and Billy Crudup is simply magnificent as the edgy athlete with the lowest pain barrier around. I suspect that a man with such a name has had his own share of pain to practice with…."
Andrew L. Urban

__________________

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

See Andrew L. Urban's interview with director
ROBERT TOWNE

p>TRAILER

WITHOUT LIMITS (M)
(US)

CAST: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter, Jeremy Sisto, Matthew Lillard

DIRECTOR: Robert Towne

PRODUCER: Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner

SCRIPT: Robert Towne, Kenny Moore

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Conrad L. Hall

EDITOR: Claire Simpson, Robert K. Lambert

MUSIC: Randy Miller (music supervision, Danny Bramson)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Creber

RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 22, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: March 7, 2000 (rental; sell-thru Sept 4, 2000)

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017