March 10, 2010

Deniro as Lombardi = EPIC!

So, rumor is that Robert Deniro is going to play Vince Lombardi in a biopic. First of all, let me say right now, it should get an Oscar nom, but it won't. Something about sports movies seems to say that it's just not going to get the big prize. I know, The Blind Side was up for the award, and Sandra Bullock won which is great, but it just seems like they don't get the same level of respect.

Deniro as Lombardi though, that's just awesome. Is there anyone else that could be as dominating a screen presence in a role that requires just that? Lombardi transcended football in a way that few players/coaches have. In fact, the only other sports figure that I can think of that has provided the same amount of material for non-sporting situations is Yogi Berra, which I think is quite a good comparison. Vince Lombardi is the Yogi Berra of football, except for the most part, he intended to be memorable.

The other reason I'm looking forward to a Lombardi biopic is because the good sports movies of late have all had one thing in common - they're all uplifting. I, for one, am tired of it. I know that achievements in sports are motivational (Invincible), inspirational (The Blind Side), or just downright nostalgic (Miracle), but I really miss the movies that are just good movies about sports, and there's the opportunity for that here. Whether it's comedic (The Replacements), or dramatic (Any Given Sunday), sports has given us an incredible backdrop for quality storytelling. How awesome would it be if rather than focusing on Lombardi the quote machine, the focus was on him as the hard-driving, army trained coach that endeared himself to his players and the fans by winning and turning the Packers into a machine?

I'm looking forward to that as a possibility, but just as much as that, I'm hoping that Deniro can pull it off. He was, and probably really still is one of the great actors of his time, he just hasn't had an opportunity like this to showcase it lately. As I started, I will end; Put this one on your calendar, it should be epic!

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