Film

Film

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The Yes capping Ulysses is the most famous last word in 20th-century literature; surely, commentator Al Michaels’s identical outburst when the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets at Lake Placid deserves a similar superlative in sports-announcerdom. Now the question that preceded his affirmation (“Do you believe in miracles?”) has generated this film’s title, and his latter-day Yes is arguably as moving as anything Joyce could muster. Kurt Russell is terrific as coach Herb Brooks, psychological tactician out to redeem his being cut from the 1960 U.S. squad, the last one to beat the CCCP. Despite the sociopolitical framing, Miracle downplays the jingoism; a comment about waging “our own private cold war” is more wry than militaristic. And will I note how pleased I was to have paraded before my memories once again the outer-space-sounding name of Soviet netkeep Vladislav Tretiak, and Mike Eruzione’s high-stepping eruption? Yes I said yes I will Yes.

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