Last night, I cried for the umpteenth time at the movie, Iron Will. My eldest says that I should be handed a box of tissues before I watch this film. It is one of the family's favourites and was the first live action film that my eldest ever truly watched. He was four when he first watched. He is now 17 like the protagonist. When I suddenly realised it, I choked up.
It is also the perfect film to illustrate the concept of desire, determination, discipline and dedication plus perservance. It is based on a true story. Certainly the 1917 race was run but it was not won by the lead character.
Iron Will is about a 17 year old boy, Will Stoneman whose father wants him to go to college, but WIll isn't sure. His father wants him to follow his dreams. It is set in 1917. In order to raise the money, the father plans to take part in the Winnipeg to St Paul dog sled race, but the father is killed in a sledding accident involving a river, and the family faces financial ruin. Will decides to take his father's place and race. The prospect of racing is the only thing that makes Will feel alive, and despite dire predictions, he is determined to race and to win. It is a gruelling course and he experiences many hard ships along the way, but his integrity and strength of character shines through. Kevin Spacey plays the cyncial reporter who seeks to use Will for his own ends.
It is a Disney and there is a Happy Ending but everytime I watch it, my heart is in my mouth.
Because Christopher Vogler was in charge of Disney films at the time this was made, it also exemplifies the hero's journey. Even though I could dissect this, I was still in tears at parts. I knew the foreshadowing, the threshhold guardians, the trials, the friends, the shadows etc etc, but I still get wrapped in Will's struggle and his determination to win. We will not say how many boxes of tissues I went through...
It is a real feel good, pull at the heart strings adventure movie for all the family. A triumphant of the human spirit against the odds. And it remains a favourite of my family.
I am also blogging today about the Sexual Sequence/Courtship ritual and its uses in writing over at Unusual Historicals.