Title: The Bronze Director: Bryan Buckley Year: 2015 Run time: 1hr 40m
“A decade ago, Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) was America’s sweetheart. Her inspired performance on a ruptured achilles at the world’s most prestigious gymnastics tournament clinched an unlikely bronze medal for the U.S. team and brought glory to her hometown of Amherst, Ohio. But in the years since that epic third place victory, Hope hasn’t done a whole lot with her life. Still living in her dad Stan’s (Gary Cole) basement, still sporting her daily uniform of a Team USA gym suit with teeny-bopper bangs, ponytail and scrunchie, she spends her days at the mall milking her minor celebrity for free food and favors. Hope’s routine is upended when she learns that she must coach Amherst’s newest gymnastics prodigy Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) in order to receive a sizeable financial inheritance. The hard-edged yet insecure Hope is faced with a serious dilemma: does she jeopardize her “hometown hero” status by devotedly training this rising star to achieve the dreams she never could? Or does she attempt to sabotage the impressionable Maggie to ensure that she remains the one and only star in Amherst?”
1:49 – Love an outside park with a low beam – free practice! 8:06 – If our British Olympic heroes are anything to go by, the free stuff only lasts for a little while. 11:43 – “It’s called Dancing With the Stars, not Dancing With the Coaches.” 14:17 – Bradley is a rubbish name for a fish. 17:59 – I want to make a mug! 20:40 – His home school was rubbish. 29:36 – “Goes down better with Avril.” 37:17 – Bless the little fat gymnast. 39:27 – That’s the trouble with ex-athlete coaches, they have their own demons. 43:26 – “Gloats get kicked in the throats, go.” 48:31 – I’d prefer that they didn’t do that weird mugging for the judges, but hey, it’s worth points. 56:11 – “I dare you to tell the truth…” THAT’S CHEATING. 1:00:56 – Diet is so much better than regular! 1:09:36 – I wrote the note doesn’t automatically link to murder, does it? Amazing. 1:14:15 – That’s potentially the worst Olympic tattoo I’ve ever seen. 1:20:35 – Oof, I thought that had taken a really harsh turn. 1:27:45 – “The butterfly has left the nest.” Whaaaat! 1:32:32 – Yay, co-pilot! 1:37:07 – Epic credits. So sweary though!
I heard about this film a while ago, and then promptly forgot about it, which is stupid because it a) has Melissa in it and b) is about gymnastics. Presumably being promoted again due to the tie-in with the Olympics, we quickly watched it and phew, it was great.
It felt like the film grew and grew on me as we watched. You have to really stick with it at the start because she’s not a nice character at all, even knowing what happened to her. But, just as she herself goes on a journey, she drags you along with her and I grew to love the character and the story, and really started rooting for everyone involved until I was super caught up and emotional about the whole thing!
If you can put up with the swearing and the unpleasantness at the start, then it’s highly recommended as a unique indie film. (Also love, love, love that Melissa’s husband took her name!)