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Junior Ciné
Stephen Frears

The Program

United Kingdom, France 2015

In English / Finnish and Swedish subtitles

104 min

For audiences aged 7 and above

Stephen Frears' drama about disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong portrays its subject as a modern-day Icarus. After surviving cancer, Armstrong (Ben Foster) announces that he never wants to be "that close to losing" again. The doctor Michele Ferrari (Guillaume Canet) offers him "a heavenly vision". By taking the wonder drug EPO, he can "learn to fly". The Sunday Times journalist David Walsh (played by an engagingly humorous and sceptical Chris O'Dowd) soon suspects that Armstrong isn't racing clean.

Foster reportedly took performance-enhancing drugs while playing the role, and he captures his character's gimlet-eyed intensity. The film, scripted by John Hodge of Trainspotting fame, is skilful in the way it gives a modern-day story about cheating in sport a mythic feel.
Geoffrey Macnab / Independent

Director: Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears (born in 1941) is a British director who has won numerous awards, such as Palme d’Or (twice) and Silver Bear, and been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. His oeuvre consists of hit films such as Dangerous Liaisons (1988), The Queen (2006) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016).

Screenplay: John Hodge based on the novel Seven Deadly Sins by David Walshin
Cast: Ben Foster, Lee Pace, Guillaume Canet, Jesse Plemons, Chris O'Dowd, Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Greenberg
Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tracey Seaward / Working Title Films, StudioCanal Limited, Anton Capital Entertainment
Copy: SF Studios