I heard good things about The Rocketfrom people who saw it. They described it as 'more than a feel-good movie'; an older gentleman I know felt it was one of the best films he'd seen in years. Ice hockey fans -- and Canadians of a certain age -- will probably recognize "The Rocket" as the nickname of the legendary Maurice Richard. For those of us, like me, who are ignorant of his achievements, Wikipedia says he played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1942 to 1960 and was "the most prolific goal-scorer of his era." I imagine the film has special resonance for folks from Quebec, since it depicts "the struggles of a French Canadian in the National Hockey League [NHL] dominated by Anglophones," as described by IMDB.

Directed by Charles Binamé, The Rocket opened theatrically in Quebec in November 2005. Audiences loved it; at CinemaClock, readers (64 of them) rated it 9.5 out of 10. Eye Weekly's Jason Anderson wrote: "The decision to so strongly emphasize Richard's importance as a political and cultural figure gives greater heft to the many conventional sports-flick tropes and cornier bits of dialogue. ... It's bold, gripping, passionate hokum punctuated by the most exciting hockey scenes ever presented in a feature film."

Finally American audiences will be able to see what all the fuss is about. As reported by indieWIRE, Palm Pictures has acquired US rights to The Rocket and plans a theatrical release later this year, with plans for a DVD to follow in 2008. If you scroll down Palm's "In Theaters" page at their site, you'll see that The Rocket is slated to play in Scottsdale, Arizona on October 5. Perhaps that's a one-off screening; it coincides with the beginning of the NHL regular season for local team Phoenix Coyotes. When we hear more details, we'll be sure to share them.
categories Movies, Cinematical