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The Armstrong Lie 2013 R CC

Chronicles Armstrong's attempt to win the 2009 Tour de France.

Starring:
Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
Runtime:
2 hours, 3 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Alex Gibney
Starring Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
Supporting actors Frankie Andreu, Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Daniel Coyle, Michele Ferrari, George Hincapie, Phil Liggett, Steve Madden, Bill Strickland, Jonathan Vaughters, Emile Vrijman, David Walsh
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2014
Format: DVD
"The Armstrong Lie" (2013 release; 122 min.), originally intended to document the comeback of Lance Armstrong in 2009 after a 4 year absence from the sport, instead is now the chronicle of the astonishing fall from grace by Armstrong, leading to his lifetime ban and stripping of his 7 Tour de France victories. As the documentary opens, Lance is talking to director Alex Gibney just hours after Lance has confessed the Big Lie on the Oprah Winfrey show on January 14, 2013. The documentary then goes into depth as to how Armstrong was able to get away with the Big Lie for so many years, while also looking back at some of his major accomplishments, most notably his survival of almost fatal testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brains in 1996, and his subsequent return to professional biking and winning the Tour de France an unprecedented 7 consecutive times. The documentary also gives insights as to why (and how) Armstrong came back in 2009, and doing an extended one-on-one interview with Armstrong in June of '13 to confront him in depth with all the facts and allegations.

Several comments: first and foremost, more than one person interviewed made this comment: "the doping was bad, but the abuse of power was worse", and "it's not about the doping, it's about the power". Indeed, by now it is well documented that in the 1990s, all of professional biking was immersed by doping, EPO in particular, very similar in the way baseball was immersed by steroids at that time. "A generation of riders used EPO", comments someone. Most of them were caught, but not Armstrong. How? By massive intimidation (some say "bullying") and very advanced doping techniques, as it turns out.
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Watching Lance Armstrong justify his use of performance enhancing drugs was interesting and somewhat convincing. His argument boils down to "everybody's doing it, so I'd be a fool (and a loser) not to." But seeing how he lied with such conviction, over and over again, and how he trashed people and wrecked lives, while interesting, was sad and rather depressing, perhaps because we've all had to deal with guys like this at one time or other. It's all about them, and if someone gets in the way, they're regarded as nothing more than road-kill that doesn't even warrant a glance in the rear-view mirror. Armstrong seems like a sociopath, albeit a rich one. He may be banned from competing, but he's made his millions, and this documentary gave me the impression that Mr. Armstrong has no self doubt and no regrets. Yes, this doc is about biking competitions, but it's really a character study. I enjoyed it, although I do think it runs a little bit too long.
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THE ARMSTRONG LIE is a fascinating documentary. Shot over a period of four years, it purports to investigate the oft-repeated claim that cyclist Lance Armstrong was a cheat, and that every single one of his Tour de France wins were achieved by taking drugs. Alex Gibney's narrative begins as a defense of Armstrong's behavior, but as different elements of the truth emerge, so the filmmaker has to keep readjusting his position. Gibney is obviously a fan of Armstrong (as many people still are), but as the seamy details of what the cyclist did in order to win his races gradually emerge, so the filmmaker gradually understands how wrong-headed he has been give his unquestioning support. Armstrong emerges as a thoroughly unsavory character, pathologically unwilling to acknowledge the truth about himself, and always looking to manipulate the media so that he emerges in a positive light. Even his so-called 'confessional' interview with Oprah looks like a deliberate attempt to rescue his reputation. As the narrative unfolds, so Gibney gradually comes to understand the truth about his subject, and realizes to his cost that much of the film has unwittingly helped to obfuscate that truth, portraying Armstrong instead as a man more sinned against than sinning. It is only right at the end that Gibney admits the truth of Armstrong's motives, and how Armstrong himself has deliberately duped the filmmaker. As a result THE ARMSTRONG LIE is a film that is more about media manipulation than anything else, revealing just how persuasive - and dangerous - a person Armstrong actually is. There's no guarantee that he might not manage to clear his reputation in the future, despite what he has done.
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As an Austinite of some years, I remember how the city held this favorite son to its bosom, with messages of encouragement chalked out on the streets of every neighborhood. Even Former President Bill Clinton sported the jaunty yellow LIVESTRONG wristband in full Cat-Daddy endorsement of Armstrong's message and courage in the face of cancer.
And this movie makes you realize that this was a bad dude. Armstrong not only lied to the public, government bodies and corporations from which he received money, but assiduously tried to destroy his friends. Maybe after watching this, if possible, you'd still go get a beer with this guy, hear his war stories (Lance is a great raconteur and communicator) and frank admissions, but never for a second forget his transgressions. He should probably be charged with perjury.
One of the most telling scenes of the movie centers around his failed Tour De France comeback in 2009, and back at the hotel Lance suddenly realizes he won't win, and might just settle for a "podium position," then turns to the camera and apologizes for ruining the documentary. Maybe Lance was addicted to the race to fame, but it seems like he thought he was just doing what we expected of him.
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