Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Maurice Richard
Canada, 2005. Cinémaginaire Inc., Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm, Desjardins, Téléfilm Canada, Quebec Film and Television Tax Credit, SODEC, Super Écran, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Radio Canada Télévision. Screenplay by Ken Scott. Cinematography by Pierre Gill. Produced by Daniel Louis, Denise Robert. Music by Michel Cusson. Production Design by Michel Proulx. Costume Design by Francesca Chamberland. Film Editing by Michel Arcand.
Exciting biopic of the most beloved player in Canadian hockey history, Maurice Richard (played here by Roy Dupuis). The film begins with Richard’s youth, working at a metals factory and meeting the lovely young Lucille whom he will eventually marry, then in his twenties struggling to keep his little family afloat before trying out for the Montreal Canadiens sees him eventually become the team’s most popular player and the country’s sports hero. Playing in spite of detractors and critics who find him frail, Richard nearly signs his own death warrant when he speaks out against the Anglo-dominated injustices of the hockey league and sparks the ire of team owners, leading to an emotionally charged incident on the ice that sees him suspended from the game for the entire 1955 season. The film gives us healthy doses of gritty, biopic facts and unabashed myth making (his final radio broadcast is straight out of Evita), together combining for a highly entertaining, satisfying film with plush period details and fine performances.