Prefontaine | Chicago Reader

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Track star Steve Prefontaine made it to the 1972 Munich Olympics only to have his dreams of pure competition corrupted by terrorism. For his biopic, cowriters Eugene Corr and director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) combine real and simulated archival footage, montages of newspaper clippings, dramatic scenes, and interviews with actors playing Prefontaine's family, friends, and colleagues—and the result is both too earnest and too campy. As the driven competitor who learns to make hubris work for him, Jared Leto gives a complex performance that suggests a deep, intriguing interior to the character even as he maintains a convincing one-dimensional facade. But the casting of a slew of actors with familiar faces forces a stylistic issue that's never addressed: why use documentary techniques to tell this story?

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