I read an article recently that talked about what it feels like to be a part of the last generation to remember life without the Internet. In the article, Michael Harris, author of The End Of Absence, talks about how this technology-fueled world we live in today has changed how we measure our sense of self-worth:
"I think it has to do with this notion of online accountability. That is, noticing that you actually count seems to be related to a sense of self worth. So it’s like if a tweet gets retweeted a couple of hundred times, that must mean that my thoughts are worthy. If my Facebook photo is ‘liked,’ that must mean I am good looking. One of the things that concerns me about a media diet that is overly online, is that we lose the ability to decide for ourselves what we think about who we are.” (Source: Quartz)
I think that's why the film Eddie The Eagle was so impactful for me. In a world where a stranger can discount your dreams with a click of a mouse, it's sometimes hard to maintain motivation to keep up with them. And as someone who is constantly chasing a dream of my own, it's great to see a film where the overall message is: Even though the odds might be against you, keep working as hard as you can and things may just work out.
The story of Michael "Eddie The Eagle" Edwards takes place long before the Internet age. The movie transports you back and makes you remember a time where your imagination was the device that kept you entertained, and your hopes and dreams were at the forefront of your thoughts. That is how we meet Eddie in the film, as an awkward kid with big glasses who has one thing on his mind: his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. When he settles on ski jumping as his sport, nothing stops Eddie from achieving his goal of Olympic greatness. Eddie knows exactly who he is and isn't brought down by anyone's disbelief in his dreams.
That's what makes the movie so special. It has an unwavering, inspirational tone that will make you feel as though your dreams are just one jump away. No doubt that tone is held up by the outstanding performance of Taron Egerton. Coming off the success of playing the spy-in-training Eggsy in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Egerton was able to bring the same wit and charm from the character while matching the persona of the real Eddie Edwards. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Eddie Edwards must be over the moon with the performance of Egerton in this film.
The supportive cast was nothing but amazing as well. I know everyone is expecting to hear praise for Hugh Jackman for his role as Eddie's fictional coach Bronson Peary, but honestly, while he turns in a great performance, it's nothing we haven't seen from him before. I would much rather give praise to Jo Hartley who plays Janette Edwards, Eddie's mom. She brought so much love and warmth to the role that by the end she'll have you reaching for the tissues.
When you mix all those amazing performances with an '80s synth-heavy soundtrack and an aesthetic warmth that makes you feel as though you too are leaping off that snowy hill, you have something truly memorable that'll have you longing for simpler times. After seeing the film , I can no longer say, "They don't make movies like they use to," because they just did.