Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Racing Dreams

I'm a bit behind in reporting on movies I saw during the opening week of the Bloor Cinema.  Let me catch up.
Racing Dreams follows three young people above (ranging in age from 11 to 13) as they chase the title in the World Karting Association National Series. Incessant practice and long drives to tracks for competitions is the consuming centre of their lives during this.  They feel it's worth it, as many NASCAR drivers have arisen from the Karting circuit, and each of these kids dreams of making it to NASCAR.

It's not that I'm totally enamoured of kart racing; I outgrew that after I dislocated my elbow when I rolled a go-kart many years ago at a go-kart track.  But this documentary movies is not just about racing.  It's about watching seeing three kids in mid-development, making choices about their future.  The challenge of the race exposes their formative characters. 

Josh is grooming himself for the big time, and not only on the track.  He's already a good public speaker, smoothly attracting sponsors and giving them what they want in a clean-cut driver with a winning attitude, a winning smile and winning record.  He steps up to meet a NASCAR driver to make sure he knows Josh's name for the future. 

For Brandon, from a troubled family, being brought up by a wonderful supportive grandfather, it's probably his last year in racing, because the family lacks the resources to take the next step.  He already battles a quick temper and a tendency to challenge the rules with aggressive driving, a trait that has already seen him disqualified in one race.  We leave with a fervent hope he will not follow his father's treacherous path to jail. 

Meanwhile, Annabeth is starting to feel the tug of boys and dating, and the likelihood she will exit racing and the grueling practices and weekends on the road in favour of the life of a more normal teenager.  And yet, . . .  When her father puts her in the newly purchased stock car, the engine revs and her blood surges.  Which path will she choose?

It's a fascinating movie, and was a good choice for the first week at the Bloor.

No comments: