THE ROCKET: THE STORY OF MAURICE RICHARD (Charles Binam) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
A powerful performance by Roy Dupuis as one of Canada's greatest hockey players anchors this biopic that follows Richard's career from amateur to legendary Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens. Dupuis nails Richard's infamous stare, the intense gaze that saw only the net, and the film handles his slow awakening to French Canada's second-class status, in and outside of the NHL, with subtlety. Richard's brother, fellow Canadien Henri, is oddly left out of the story, and Julie Le Breton (as Richard's wife) does little beyond looking tearfully proud or tearfully anxious. But cameos by current NHLers lend verisimilitude to the hockey sequences, and this great Canadian story, skilfully told, should find an appreciative audience even in the heart of Leafs country. 123 minutes.