Hockey movie fans rejoice! While it is easy to watch Slap Shot again and again and again, it is great news to hear that three new hockey films have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): The Last Gladiators, Goon and Breakaway.
The Last Gladiators, directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, is a look at NHL enforcers, their difficulty adjusting to life after hockey and its toll upon them. From the TIFF website — The Last Gladiators: “Exploring the rough and tumble world of hockey, Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) looks at the world of the NHL enforcers and specifically the career of Chris “Knuckles” Nilan who helped the Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup.”
The movie Goon from Michael Dowse is inspired by Doug Smith’s story Goon about the adventures of a minor league enforcer. From the TIFF website — Goon: “Acclaimed maverick Michael Dowse (FUBAR, FUBAR 2, It’s All Gone Pete Tong) returns to the Festival with his latest, Goon, a raucous, hilarious take on Canada’s one true national obsession — hockey — and the divisive topic of violence in the game. Co-written by and starring Jay Baruchel (The Trotsky, Tropic Thunder) and boasting a truly great cast including Seann William Scott, Nicholas Campbell, Liev Schrieber, Alison Pill, Kim Coates, Eugene Levy, and Marc-Andre Grondin — Goon is the Canadian comedy counterpart to Jimi Hendrix’s version of the “The Star Spangled Banner”: sacreligious, twisted and, somehow, perversely patriotic.”
Bollywood meets hockey in the film “Breakaway” from Robert Lieberman, starring Rob Lowe as coach of a Toronto Canadian-Sikh hockey team. (By the way, Noureen DeWuld also appears in the film — she is the wife of Buffalo Sabres goaltender, Ryan Miller.) From the TIFF website — Breakaway: “A young Sikh-Canadian man (Vinay Virmani) dreams of hockey stardom but first he has to assemble a team to beat the local bullies, while romancing the coach’s sister (Camilla Belle). Lieberman’s fable is a classic cross-cultural story, with dashes of humour courtesy of Russell Peters.”
Hockey Movies: The Stanley Cup meets Hollywood (The Los Angeles Times).