Frameline 2012 Film Festival: “Strong!”, and “Taking A Chance On God” Reviews & Trailers


Women’s weightlifting didn’t become an olympic sport until 2000, at which point Cheryl Haworth won the bronze medal.  In Strong!, documentarian, Julie Wyman, successfully uses Cheryl’s quest of becoming a three-time olympian as a catalyst to explore larger issues, such as society’s perceptions of what being a woman, being beautiful, and being healthy means.  I could have done without the eliciting of emotions through excessive use of staged portrait scenes, but that’s a small price to pay for a glimpse into this American sports pioneer’s life.  You go, girl!

Taking A Chance On God

I’m glad I now know who John McNeill is, I just wish I didn’t have to sit through so much generic talking heads footage (not the group), amateurish editing of archival photographs (some of which were shown more than twice), and a pandering score which seemed better fitted for some triumphant scene to an Ireland-based romantic drama.  Needles to say, director, Brendan Fay‘s movie about the life of the gay catholic priest, John McNeill didn’t have much to offer as far as overall aesthetics went.  At every turn these visual and audible elements threatened to distract my attention from the movie’s primary objective; to honor one of the greatest thinkers of our time.


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