This movie was alright. As a person who was completely unaware of the Russian doping scandal, this movie sure taught me about it, and I’m grateful for that (as that’s also why I enjoy watching documentaries in the first place).
That being said, I did however, feel that the first half of the movie was a total waste of time. I’m not sure why so much time was spent on the first (non-scandalous) half. It kinda felt like this documentary wasn’t framed very well. Half way through we start seeing chapter markers and it threw me off. Felt like I was watching a different movie.
It would have been better if they included more perspectives on this situation. Especially the athletes! We didn’t hear anything from the Russian and non-Russian athletes on this issue. Was it not allowed? What about retired athletes? Surely they could have found someone who could shed light on how the athletes felt about this issue? I felt the breadth of perspective here wasn’t well executed enough for me to call it a good documentary. I walked away with a very sad-looking slice of perspective in my hands.
I wouldn’t watch this movie again. But if you’re really interested to know about the Russian doping scandal, I wouldn’t stop you from watching this film (it’s readily available on Netflix anyway). But if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time, and you’re looking to spend that 2 hours you’ve got on a good documentary, look away. Don’t waste your time on Icarus.
Not really sure WHY this was nominated for the Oscars, apart from it’s relevance to the recent winter Olympics. Then again, it’s the Oscars. Sometimes I wonder how much politics is involved when it comes to the nominations and voting process. Maybe we need a documentary exposé on the Oscars! Now that’s something.