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Bobby Jones Stroke of Genius (2004)

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Based on the inspirational true story of one of sport's greatest legends.

Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., aka "Bobby Jones" (James Caviezel) rises from complete obscurity to become a golfing legend. Jones overcomes his own fierce temper, intense passion, and perfectionist tendencies to master the game and win the Grand Slam, the U.S., British, and Amateur Opens in golf, a feat unequaled even today. But it is Jones's style, personality, and character that separate him from the other professionals in his field. When Jones realizes that his unparalleled success may be destroying those he loves he's presented with an astounding proposition, one that shocks the world.

Anyone who's ever been passionate about golf will find something to admire in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, a staidly reverent biopic about one of the game's greatest champions. In the title role, Jim Caviezel suffers almost as much as he did in The Passion of the Christ, portraying Jones--who made history by winning golf's elusive Grand Slam (four top tournaments in less than four months) in 1930--as a passionately committed golfer who silently endured chronic pain (a spinal disorder prompted his early retirement at age 28), stomach ailments, emotional torment, and borderline alcoholism while maintaining amateur status in the sport he so magnificently dominated. Jeremy Northam brings levity and rakish style as Jones' friend and rival golfer Walter Hagen, and Malcolm McDowell adds colorful character as Jones' friend and biographer O.B. Keeler while Claire Forlani suffers the typical biopic plight of the hero's wife, who offers compassionate empathy while wishing Jones had more time for family. With repetitive golf scenes and a somber tone of martyrdom. Director Rowdy (Road House) Herrington is clearly enamored of his subject, and that enthusiasm shines through the gloom.

Rated PG for some strong language.

Tags: biography, drama, romance, true films, 2004, sports

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