Heart of Champions (2021) Movie Script

[Ted] Bow.
Nudge it. Go bow. Lightly.
Sit ready.
Blades covered. Bury 'em.
[Announcer] Gentlemen,
you know the commands.
Ready all? Row!
[Ted] Draw!
Through! Shunt!
Spin! Shunt! Finish!
Length! One. Two.
Build! Build!
And push! Now.
One! Send!
Two! Send!
Three! Send!
Four! Send!
Breath! Six!
Breath! Seven!
Breath! Eight!
Send! Push,
send! Nice!
[indistinct chatter]
[Ted] Keep moving.
Keep moving.
That's it boys.
Now they're going
for a race to the 500.
We're at 37. Stay relaxed.
Find our rhythm.
Find our rhythm.
Ten bend.
In the fingers.
That's it,
keep it together, boys!
We got two
seats up on Harvard.
Give me another one!
Give me another one!
Now we swing the
weight into the headwind.
Swing back.
Sit back! Sit back!
Swing back. There!
We're up three
quarters of a length.
Hold tough.
There. Sit back.
Sit back. Keep this lead,
Keep this lead.
We're still three seats up.
Up four.
Too soon.
Up four,
Okay boys, we're taking it
up. That's one. That's two. Go!
Push! Send!
They got two seats on us.
In two, 10 to break 'em. Ready?
One. Yes! Two,
[Ted] They're
making a move! Let's respond!
Power! More! Legs!
Legs! Hold
tough! Hold tough!
Take it all the
way to the line boys...
Yeah! Yeah!
Shoulders and go.
down to slings. Go!
[Alex] You sorry
piece of shit quitters.
Logan! Sanchez! This is on you!
You don't belong on varsity!
De-rig the boat!
Settle down,
Next time I say take it up,
you take it up. No back talk.
Taking it up that early wasn't
part of the race plan, was it?
I made the call.
It's your job to follow me,
you made the call.
What are you trying to say,
John? It's my fault we lost?
[Mr. Singleton] Alex!
That was a
goddamn embarrassment.
You think you can
finish the season like that
and still make
the Olympic team?
Tryouts are a
year away, Dad.
Let me tell you something.
The Olympic coaches
are already watching you.
I'll win it next year.
[Harvard team
member 1] One two!
Harvard! We are gods!
We are rowing gods! Wooo!
Harvard dirtbags.
They're the national champs,
[Harvard team member 2] All
right, hand them over pussies.
[Harvard team members]
Yeah. Let's go. Wooo!
[Harvard team member 3] I
knew they were going to break.
[indistinct chatter]
we got a new coach.
[Ted] Had a
new coach last year.
[John] This
year will be different.
[Ted] No it won't! Alex'll
pull the same bullshit again.
Who are you?
[John] You must be the transfer,
Chris, right?
Hey, man, I'm John.
Welcome. I'm your roommate, so.
This is a private conversation.
He needs to leave.
Chill, Ted, all right.
He's part of the team.
Don't remember seeing
him in the boat last season.
Why are you
being such an ass?
It's okay.
I'll just wait outside.
[indistinct conversation]
[John] Sure
you don't need help?
I got it.
I got it. Got it.
This your girlfriend?
Not anymore.
Your room is the
second one on the right.
I'll be back
in like an hour.
First practice tomorrow.
Assuming we still have a team.
I don't know how to row.
So please teach me all you know.
I don't know, how to row.
So please teach me all you know.
Jayvee crew,
go see Charlie.
Move out,
giddy up. Yee ha! Okay.
Logan Sanchez,
you're Jayvee.
- What?
- Why?
Jayvee! Go see Charlie.
Come on,
Move out fresh meat.
Easy Alex, this is
Chris. He's the new transfer.
[Ted] Yo,
You all are late.
I knew I got
through to you guys.
You're late for practice.
Knock out a hundred.
We're not late.
You're early.
Get on your face and push.
Oh, not the finger,
Keep that up
and I'll break it off.
- Yeah, go ahead.
- Oh hey, hey, hey!
How about I do the
push ups. How about that?
Varsity! Line
up on the deck.
Hurry up!
I'm your new coach.
You will address
me as Coach Murphy.
Can someone
explain to me why you're here?
we're a rowing team
and you asked us to
come meet you here, so.
That's not what I'm asking.
I want to know why you're here.
What's your name?
Alex Singleton.
Captain of the crew.
All right, Captain,
tell me why you're here.
We're here to practice.
Here is our lineup.
and the workout schedule.
We're going to
get on the water now.
You're not
ready for the water.
Sit your ass down,
All of you,
Pass these around,
all right?
Here's some pencils.
I want you all to write down
why you, personally, are here.
Start with the words,
"I am here to..."
and then
figure out the rest.
It's not a dissertation,
hurry up.
Who wants to read theirs?
You. Stand up.
Introduce yourself.
Ted Taylor.
Give me your card.
I am here to meet the new
coach. Nice to meet you, Taylor.
Now tell me why
you're really here.
To steer the boat.
You can steer
boats in a bathtub.
That's not why
you're here. Sit.
Pass your cards,
What's your name?
Chris Davenport.
Come to my
office afterwards.
Uh-Uh. Nope.
No! No! Unbelievable.
Not one of you
knows why you're here.
Let's try a
different approach.
Look around.
What is this place?
You, Mohawk,
don't say hair salon.
It's a boathouse.
Think bigger picture
and the bigger picture is...?
Belston University.
I'm John Kimball.
So, now tell me, Kimball,
why are you at this university?
To learn.
- To learn about what?
- Rowing.
You already know how
to row. At least I hope so.
All right,
let me end the suspense.
No man is an island.
No man is an island.
Whatever you
do after graduation,
you have to find your
way with the people around you.
They need to rely on you
and you need to rely on them.
Because the time may
come when your success,
your happiness, maybe even
your flesh and blood survival
will be at stake.
And you won't
make it on your own.
So, yes, Kimball,
you are here to learn.
You are going to learn something
that can't be taught in a book
or a classroom.
Out on that river, men,
you will learn how to be a team.
Not an island.
We already are a team.
Not true.
A team doesn't disintegrate
in the last 500 meters
against Harvard and then
point fingers at who to blame.
I saw that race.
Don't forget
what I just told you.
You are here to learn one of the
most important lessons in life.
How to work together
to achieve the impossible...
as a team.
Have a seat,
I'm not much older
than you in that photo.
My father was in the army.
He never talked about it much.
For a long time,
I was the same way.
Have a seat.
So I saw you row
stroke in the Wisconsin boat
a couple of years back.
You guys were fast.
I guess.
Then I couldn't find your name
on the roster from last year,
so I called the coach.
He told me the story.
Don't want
to talk about it.
Fair enough.
You wrote,
I'm here because I have to be.
What does that mean?
I got a rowing scholarship.
I need to row for my tuition.
you'd quit the team?
- Yeah.
- [Coach Murphy] Why?
Because I
fucking hate rowing.
So you're just going to
go through the motions?
Just put me
on junior varsity.
Going through the motions
will be good enough there.
And then the lesson you learn
is how to waste your talent,
drift along and take
the easy way out. Right?
I'm keeping
you on varsity.
Don't you even
think about slacking off.
I have no problem
revoking your scholarship.
Sarah, okay. Honestly,
these are fantastic.
They have such
great composition.
[Lili] Hey,
how are you?
Good. This
was in the mail room.
Thank you. Finally.
What is it?
it is the Rhodes application.
you're really going for it?
There's Alex.
- Oh god.
- Oh my god.
I missed you too.
[Nisha clears throat]
[Nisha] Hi Nish.
Hi Lili. How was your summer?
Hi Nish. Hi,
Lili. How was your summer?
Glad to be back.
me too.
- [Nisha] Should we go?
- Yes.
Since we're no longer wanted
here. Should we go register?
because there's this
wonderful Shakespeare seminar,
I really want to
introduce you to.
Tomorrow and tomorrow,
and tomorrow, creeps in this...
Oh sorry.
I'm sorry.
[John] Hey,
Chris. Hey.
Let me take him to
the boathouse, all right.
- See you tonight.
- See you tonight.
Come on.
[Mr. Singleton] Hey,
there he is.
meet Travis Murphy.
Class of 67 and our
new varsity crew Coach.
President Harris.
Great to have
you back on campus.
You know well as anyone
what rowing means to Belston.
Our big donors and
alums expect great things.
I can promise
we'll work hard.
Well, anything you need,
the door's open.
Feels like 100 years ago,
doesn't it?
We had a good boat.
we did.
How's it feel to
be back on campus?
Still some ghosts here.
Yeah, well,
I see him too, sometimes.
Do you?
Travis, I'm glad I
got you to take this job.
But let's try and focus on
the future instead of the past.
Just to be clear, it wasn't
you who got me to take this job.
Pete Davenport's boy,
I stand corrected.
One more thing,
Alex is gunning for a seat
in the Olympic boat next year.
So that's
why you hired me.
You're a hell of a coach,
I know you
can get him there.
If he gets a
little extra attention.
Everybody in the boat
gets my complete attention.
We're glad to
have you here.
Welcome aboard.
[indistinct chatter]
Who's the
leader of this crew?
I'm the captain.
I asked,
who's the leader?
[John chuckles]
You got something to say,
All right. Singleton,
you run a practice.
Looks like our war
hero has already folded.
All right,
let's go.
20 minute piece.
Newbie you're in five.
The rest of you
all know the lineup.
Hold up a minute.
What's that for?
if I see black tape,
that means
you're moving pretty well.
What if you
see the purple?
Oh, I doubt I'll
ever see the purple.
but what if you do?
Son, if I see the purple tape,
this boat sprouted wings.
Going off
your stroke rate.
Time's up! Weigh
enough! And balance!
God weak.
Since you guys can't balance,
we're doing another one.
Turn it around.
Hey, what are we
trying to accomplish?
Another one,
That's what we're
trying to accomplish.
[Coach Murphy]
Quiet in the boat.
Wait here.
What the hell is he doing?
[Alex sighs]
Five minute piece.
Try and catch me.
Who's he kidding?
He can't
beat us in a single.
Who cares,
let's crush him.
Ready all!
Two lengths down.
Time's up. Weigh enough.
And down.
Take it in.
Someone want to tell me what
went wrong at practice today?
We started off okay.
No you didn't.
You started like shit
and you finished like
a big steaming pile of shit.
You couldn't catch an old
man in a single. Wearing khakis!
What are you
snickering about?
I should make all
you surrender your shirts
for losing like that.
you're the leader of this team?
Because I got the
top rowing machine score?
Rowing machines
measure endurance son.
Not leadership.
Leadership is measured in
the hearts of those who follow.
Nobody was following you.
Carter, can you tell me what
the purpose of this team is?
It's like you said yesterday,
to learn how to work as a team.
No. Listen to yourself,
The purpose of this team is
to learn how to work as a team.
That makes no sense.
Each of you
individually is here to learn,
but the team
itself needs a purpose.
did you give 'em one?
one 20 minute piece.
That's a task,
not a purpose.
[Ted] We've got a purpose.
Get used by Alex
as a stepping stone
so he can make
the Olympic squad.
You gonna hold up
that big bad finger, Ted?
Quiet! I want
somebody tell me right now.
What is the
purpose of this team?
It's goal,
it's mission.
To win the
national championship.
We have to beat Harvard.
That's never
going to happen.
Kimball, you grab that broken
oar, the rest of you follow me.
break the glass.
Unless one of
you has the key.
Go on. Break the glass.
- [MJ] Oh!
- [laughing]
[Diver] Nice.
Pass 'em around.
Let's put
them on the wall.
there are nine of you.
Nine Harvard
shirts on this wall.
As we move
through the season,
the team will choose
the man most deserving
to step up
and take a shirt.
What is the
mission of this crew, again?
To beat Harvard,
Every single one of
you needs to commit to this.
Raise your hand if you do.
Don't blindly
throw your arm up
like you're
saluting some dictator.
I want you to
think it over. Decide.
Is this an honorable goal?
Decide if this is worth
your sweat, blood and tears.
What the hell
are you doing man?
I'm studying.
Put that book away.
It's Saturday night.
You're making everybody
else look bad by staying in.
Now let's go out with the
team and have some team bonding.
Come on,
let's go.
John. No thanks.
What? Mommy and
Daddy ground you man? Come on.
My Mom and Dad
died in a car accident.
Wait really?
Dude, I'm... I'm so sorry,
man, I didn't-I didn't.
Forget about it.
Just let me study.
I'm studying.
[mumbling] I gotta apologize,
man, because I had no idea.
Foot in my mouth,
Hey, let's just go
out with the team, man.
Let's have some fun.
- John.
- Yeah?
I am not
leaving this chair.
You drag me
out for team bonding
and you won't have a beer?
I quit drinking.
You know what it
feels like to get stabbed?
neither do I. But I should.
Damn. What happened?
I wish I could tell
you. I don't remember.
Well, that's okay,
I'll drink for the two of us.
You ought to slow down.
I can handle it.
I got nobody to lose.
[John] Chris,
that's Nisha. We call her Nish.
This is Lili.
And you remember Sara.
[Chris] Do I know you?
sorry. Okay.
Holy shit. What's that?
[John] That right
there is the old loch. Yeah.
Connects the
two rivers. Let's go.
We got an old tradition.
Before every season,
the whole team sneaks up here
and we throw our old
racing shirts into the water
to appease the river gods.
Is there problem here?
Hey. Sorry, sir, no problem.
We're just taking a look.
Come on.
Chris man,
how you doing? How's your head?
I'm never going out again.
[John] Was that your plan?
To get blasted
and act like an idiot,
so we never
drag you out again?
You were also pretty
rude to Nish last night.
Who's Nish?
She's just like
my best friend, so.
Oh. Sorry.
It's not us you
need to apologize to.
Are you stalking me?
How dare you come here?
This is my
apology. I'm sorry.
I'm... I'm calling security,
because honestly,
after the other night.
Please use my phone.
Or what? Pig with a phone?
Alcoholic dumb
jock misogynist pig.
You left out
"villain of the earth."
I'm sorry,
Villain of the earth.
You left that out.
Can you please just leave?
Let's go out and have fun.
I can't. I'm knee deep
in Rhodes application stuff.
Wish I could.
[sighs] Okay.
what's this? What is this?
it's from that pig at the bar.
John says he's a nice guy.
[Nisha] Not a chance.
4.6 30-40?
Dumb jock is mocking me,
testing my Shakespeare.
Can I see?
Start on line 30,
"I am alone,
the villain of the earth."
Read all the
way to the bottom.
Don't think
he's mocking you.
he's not.
What was his name again?
Stand between the rope.
Slip a loop over each ankle.
It's about a five mile
run to the chapel and back.
Start running! Three,
two, one, go!
[Chris grunts]
What's the matter,
All right. How about
we walk first, then run?
Let's do right foot on three,
One, two,
Left foot. One,
two, three.
One, two,
Left, right, left, right, left,
right, left, right, left, right,
left, right, left,
right, left, right, left, right.
Left, right, left, right, left,
right, left, right, left, right,
left, right, left,
[Coach Murphy] So,
what we learn?
Total concentration.
Exactly. You bring that
level of concentration with you
back on the water.
It's bullshit.
You don't look too happy.
Say what's on
your mind, son.
I could've got a
better workout running alone.
You think so?
That way, nobody drags
me down and I go where I want.
Let's get on the water.
All right,
Taylor, stop here.
Everyone except Davenport
get out and swim to shore.
Let me rephrase that,
everyone except Davenport
get out and swim to shore.
how about you start it off?
In you go. In you go.
All right, Jake,
you got it, buddy. Coach?
Come on,
- Good luck, buddy.
- Gotta man up.
- Right behind ya.
- Balance the boat.
Come on.
Lean away.
[Coach Murphy] Come on,
There you go.
There you go. That's it.
All right everybody else.
Out of the boat. Come on.
I don't see the point in this,
I can still see ya.
Come on Taylor.
Okay, Davenport,
row the boat back to shore.
That's your
problem. Row it back. Hurry up.
I thought you said you
could move faster alone.
This is different.
You're damn right it
is. A lot more like real life.
Okay, lesson over. Get
out there and help, Davenport.
- What?
- Ah, shit!
And down.
One minute rest,
then keep going.
2,000 meter race, gentlemen,
only lasts six minutes,
but rowing packs more
pain into those six minutes
than most other
sports do in a year.
Need to
constantly train body and mind
to prepare for the ordeal.
And balance and down.
I've never been this
far down river before.
Nobody has.
One minute
rest then keep going.
One minute
rest then keep going.
One minute
rest then keep going.
I know your
hands are raw meat.
Lungs are burning and
you all hate me right now.
[Alex shouts]
[Ted] Weigh
enough. And balance.
Come on,
balance the boat.
[Ted] And down.
[panting and coughing]
Okay, Taylor,
turn them around.
It's 15 miles
back to the dock.
Should take an
hour and 20 minutes.
We're all gonna die.
We're gonna make it.
Quit stalling,
Ready all? Row.
You may be suffering,
but you're suffering together.
And together you
achieve something
that should not
even be possible.
That is the
miracle of a crew.
That's it Taylor.
Finish with pride!
[Ted] Weigh
enough and balance.
Hold it.
Outstanding! And down.
I thought it'd be
more than you could handle,
but you showed impressive
endurance and discipline.
[Coach Murphy] Kimball.
Good motivation at the end.
Hey you free tonight?
I really got to work on this.
How about you come out with
me and Sarah and Nish, instead.
I know about the flowers.
It wasn't
exactly accepted.
Yeah, well, nothing is exactly
anything with Nish, okay?
Come on, we'll go
down by the river. It'll be fun.
I'm sure she hates me.
I really got to
focus on this, man.
What are you doing?
Oh, there's some fire
in there. There's the anger,
you want to get
it out with fisticuffs?
Who the hell
says fisticuffs?
Come on.
Are you two
going to say anything?
Okay, Chris here can
recite some Shakespeare for us,
since he
seems to know so well.
There's a good idea.
aren't you a little cold?
What a guy.
Thank you.
Chris, some advice,
don't hand a girl your jacket,
cuddle up next to
her to keep her warm.
I'm going to change the subject.
Isn't it boring just rowing up
and down that river every day?
[John] Boring?
Same thing every day.
No, no. When we're all
rowing well, when we have swing,
I could literally
stay out there forever.
[chuckles] What's swing?
It's pretty much
what rowing is all about.
No other sport
has anything like it.
Is it something you see?
it's something you feel, okay?
Everyone in
the boat feels it.
I know it's kind of
hard. It's hard to explain.
Swings an excuse.
You hear it when
someone screws up or slacks off
- and the boat is slow.
- No.
Trying to blame someone else
for what's really his own fault.
[John] All right,
look, Nisha.
Swing is when the whole team
is rowing in perfect sync, okay?
You can literally feel it.
Everyone's connected to
the motion and to the moment.
Okay, the boat is
as light as a feather.
It's just gliding
across the water.
It's, um,
it's like the wind on the river.
Um, Chris still looks skeptical,
so I don't know guys.
[Chris] I don't buy
the ghost in the boat stuff.
It's just eight guys rowing,
all mechanical, nothing more.
What you got
going on here?
He's racing Arnold.
Who is Arnold?
[Logan] Arnold is
our computer pacesetter.
Color me impressed,
Glad you saw it.
Yeah, I'm sure you
are. More witnesses, right?
- That's right.
- Congrats.
What are you doing?
I broke it. Alex won't
let me leave till I fix it.
Let me give it
a shot. Thanks.
Hey newbie,
what the hell you doing?
Sanchez is
supposed to fix that.
Looks like Chris just did.
[Sanchez] So
we can leave now?
Test it out first
then you can leave.
I'll test it.
Set it for
something quick.
Two hundred meters.
seconds. Wearing corduroys.
You've been
hiding skills from us, Chris.
That's fast enough to
even make Alex nervous.
Two hundred meters,
try 2,000 then we can talk.
It's fixed.
Come on,
let's go.
let's go. Hey congrats, man.
- Yeah, you too.
- Really, really impressive.
They're re-rigging the boat.
Are you changing the lineup?
Yeah, Kimball is stroke today,
you're in seven.
Why are you switching me?
I want to see how the boat
moves with Kimball in stroke.
At the end of practice,
we're going to try
this new drill
he came up with.
He'll lead it.
You sneaky piece of shit.
Hey! You
knock that shit off.
You want to fight somebody,
you can fight me.
I guarantee
you'll regret it.
He invented some bullshit drill
to get me demoted to seven.
Not true.
I told him I was
making the change yesterday.
suggested the drill today.
Kimball, in fact,
asked me not to switch you.
Now, Kimball,
this is your chance
to see if you
can do any better.
[Coach Murphy] And Singleton,
I expect you to work
just as hard in
seven as Kimball did for you.
A team player
gives 100 percent
no matter where he sits.
You man enough to do that?
- Do I have your word?
- Yes.
Let's get on the water.
Looking good guys. Go.
Weigh enough.
Hey, we're consistently
faster with you in stroke.
Okay, Kimball,
you're up.
All right, listen up.
We're gonna do something
a little differently.
We're gonna
row with blindfolds.
Yup. It's a little swing drill,
I invented.
You got that
Chris? Swing drill.
This is
gonna be a disaster.
Stop pouting,
Shut up.
watch your mouth.
Quiet in the boat!
Young lady.
[Sara] Sorry,
[John] You guys
got the blindfolds on?
hang on.
Just a simple knot,
I'm good.
All right,
ready all. Row.
Weigh enough.
Who caught the crab?
So much for
your idiotic drill.
Singleton, remember
your promise. Try again.
Ready all.
Come on guys.
[Ted] Row!
- Lance! That's twice!
- Weigh enough.
[Lance] Dude,
I can't see.
No shit.
Guys. You gotta focus.
What's the point?
We don't race blindfolded.
All right, look,
All right,
if we practice blindfolded,
think how much better
we'll race when we can see.
Now don't be so self-absorbed,
visualize us moving together.
We'll move as a crew if
you let yourself feel the swing.
[Ted] All eight,
sit ready.
All right,
deep breaths, guys,
[Ted] Deep breaths.
- And Row.
- Nice and easy.
Feel that swing.
There we go.
That's it.
Full pressure.
All right, crank it up,
guys. Full pressure on this one.
That's it,
Hey we had some
good swing there for a minute.
I know you felt that.
maybe next time.
maybe next time.
Hey, I appreciate
that extra effort today.
Enjoy it while it lasts cause
I'm gonna get my seat back.
you gonna go cry to daddy?
He'll find out
one way or another.
Coach Murphy
is doing a good job.
It'll slow the boat down
if he mysteriously "resigns."
Not my call.
[Alex] Team chooses John.
If it's all right with you,
I'd like to go last.
[Alex chuckles]
Sure, John,
who would you like to nominate?
I'm thinking Ted Taylor.
[Alex] All right,
Ted, grab a shirt.
Hey good one.
Nice one. Go!
[Jake] Nice.
I saw you on the water today.
What are you doing in seven?
Coach swapped me and John.
Is he going to
switch you back?
I don't know.
This is unacceptable.
The Olympic coaches
need to see you in stroke.
What do you want me to do?
I'll handle it.
instead of sneaking glances,
should we just do like a
staring contest or something?
Three, two,
you blinked.
let's do it again.
- Ready now?
- Umm-hmm.
Okay. One. Two. Three.
You blinked,
then I blinked.
let's go again.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- The trick is to...
- Let's do it again.
- Okay.
- Let's try again.
I'll count down.
Three, two,
Hey, bro,
it's snowing, it's snowing.
Hey, everybody,
come on, it's snowing. Let's go.
- [chuckles]
- What's going on?
It's a school tradition.
Is that the guy
that never left college?
Should we go see?
School tradition on
first snowfall of the year.
But there's only
like five snowflakes.
It literally
takes only one
and they're out here
for the nude Olympics.
- Look at them.
- Woooo!
MJ! What are you doing?
Go on,
have a sip.
okay. What is this? Brandy.
drink yourself a jacket.
- Ugh.
- [MJ] Yeah.
That'll keep you warm.
Keep you warm.
All right well,
good luck, lovers.
[MJ] Cheerio!
Am I the only naked one
in this whole bloody Olympics?
Wait, are you
actually getting undressed?
[Nisha] Seems like fun!
But it's cold.
[Nisha] Isn't
that the point?
screaming and laughter]
Come on.
Oh my god! It's freezing!
Oh. Oh. Oh my God.
You're shivering.
It's freezing.
- It was your idea.
- Was it?
- Yeah, it was your idea.
- Hmm.
Serious chat for a minute?
You should
know that there's really
no long future here because
I'll graduate in the spring.
I know.
Yeah and then I
leave the country.
Rhodes scholarship,
I know.
I plan to go home
because this was really
just like
study abroad for me.
we spent one night together.
I know,
yeah no, for sure. It's just...
Hey Ni... Wow,
okay. That's great.
Chris. Nice to see you guys.
Yeah. Cool.
Locking up for the winter?
I wanted to talk
before the holidays.
About the lineup?
Look, I realize
season isn't until spring,
so there's a temptation
to play with the lineup.
I can assure you...
Kimball will
stay in stroke.
Your son
will stay in seven.
Alex is the
best you've got.
Your son's a good oarsman,
but the boat's faster
with Kimball in stroke.
Come on,
Look, even if you're right,
the boat's going to be what?
two seconds faster,
only to crush Alex's
chances for the Olympics.
This isn't about
Alex. It's about the team.
I'm not going to let you
sacrifice my son's future.
Yeah, I'm well aware
of your views on sacrifice.
there it is.
That same self-righteousness
you had in college.
Only, you always
seem to forget that your ideas
about sacrifice
can hurt other people.
I don't forget.
I remember every single day.
All you had to do
was sign that paper.
Defer the draft.
Becker. Marino.
They only
enlisted because you did.
Each of those men did
what they thought was right.
No, they did what
you thought was right.
Yeah, of course,
you still believe that,
you can't comprehend putting
anything ahead of yourself.
Yeah? Well,
it's too bad
you didn't all
make it back home.
I wish we could
ask our dead friends
which one of us is right.
I'm done arguing with you
when the team is
back on the water in spring,
you put Alex
back in stroke.
If you don't,
I'll find a coach who will.
[sports announcer on TV]
You came back early.
I told you I'd send a postcard.
Plus if something
happened to you during Y2K
I would
never forgive myself.
It's really good.
so for the Rhodes essay,
really good is more
of a floor than a ceiling,
but I'll take it.
I mean it.
I think they say that in
the rejection letter actually,
we regret to inform that
your application is really good.
Try harder next year.
Most guys would
say that was perfect,
just so they could start
round two with me sooner, so...
It's perfect.
You're so stupid.
I'm serious.
I think we're going to
ring in the new millennium
from your bed.
It's much more fun to
spend New Year's with you here,
rather than boring ol'
mum and dad in London.
I'm sorry.
- It's fine.
- I shouldn't have said that.
Tell me about
your mom and dad.
My mum and dad?
your mum and dad.
Your accent is rubbish!
my accent is bloody brilliant.
- It's not, it's rubbish.
- I sound exactly like you.
You do not sound like me.
- Will you stop?
- Mine was better than yours.
Could I actually
just keep this one?
- Are you falling for him?
- No.
You're falling for him.
No, I'm not at all.
It's a good picture.
Who's that? Oh...
It looks like we are
going to have a class together.
You don't
need to sit down.
You can
actually just leave.
This isn't an
ancient history seminar.
I don't know if
you got confused.
It's a free country.
I can take a
class if I want to.
You can take a class,
but you can't take a hint?
Leave her alone. You've
really become a persistent pest.
Wow. Nisha.
Don't be such a royal bitch,
[John] Alex.
I haven't said anything
because Sara asked me not to,
but now I'm asking politely,
leave her alone.
She's with me.
after you slid in there
and stole her like
the loyal friend you are.
She's with me.
And you're going to back off,
you got that?
You gonna lose your cool,
John? Huh?
- Leave her alone...
- Get out of my face.
[indistinct yelling]
why aren't you stopping them?
Why aren't you?
Get 'em off!
[breathing heavily]
Solve your problems?
just dandy.
What was that?
2,000 meters, both of
you. Better use of your energy.
Go on!
I'm gonna
blow your doors off.
[Ted] Row!
Gotta make
your move now, John.
Come on,
John. You got this.
[indistinct chattering]
Gotta make
your move now, John.
Make your move
now! There you go.
You've got
this. Bring it home.
There you go.
[Ted] Time!
[cheering and applause]
[taking deep breaths]
Good job,
That's what
I'm talking about.
[Coach Murphy]
Same lineup we left off with.
Start off with
2,000 meter piece...
Let's try to keep the
stroke rate at 30, all right?
All right,
push off.
[Ted] All right,
hands on.
Murphy is
failing to prepare them.
I'm trying to save
the rowing program.
hasn't even started.
But I can assure you,
this is the right move.
Mike, there was
grumbling from the alumni
about what
you did last year.
If I let you do it again,
before the season even starts
there'll be a
lot of questions.
Questions about you,
not the new coach.
Let him finish the season.
Look, you ease up at practice,
just a hair slower.
First thing Murphy will
try is to switch you back.
You want me to
slow the boat down?
How about kissing the
Olympics goodbye, huh?
Or betting
your entire future on
some crappy
college transcript.
Does that feel better?
I just...
Son, you could be the
best oarsman in the country
and the only way
anybody's going to see that is
if you get your
damn seat back.
I promised the
team I'd give them 100%.
Oh yeah?
Well this is your shot.
Okay? It's not theirs.
And you have to take it.
No one else is going to
make this happen for you.
Not the team.
Certainly not Murphy.
You understand?
Do you understand?
Good. You'll
thank me for this.
[Coach Murphy] Singleton,
you're late.
what the hell? Now you're late.
How many times
do I need to say it?
Times up,
weigh enough.
It's that bad?
Take 'em in,
we're just
wasting our time out here.
I saw good leaders.
Good men killed in action.
Not because
they made a mistake.
A bullet or a piece of shrapnel
just happened to catch 'em.
That's the
nature of combat.
Other times guys
made mistakes and men died.
happen under pressure.
That's also the
nature of combat.
But there's a third
way I saw men killed.
When someone wasn't
willing to pull their weight.
And no matter how
hard I worked to make up for it,
wasn't always enough.
Singleton, I thought
you were a man of your word.
I see I'm wrong.
And you share
some of the blame Kimball.
You're the
leader of this team.
keeping them shut out.
I tried to pull him back in.
[Coach Murphy]
You two are
the stern pair.
You're the team within the
team. The other guys follow you.
That's both a
privilege and a responsibility
because if you
refuse to work together
then the team
can't work together.
And if you won't put
aside your egos and resolve this
then I want you to
go out there right now,
look your
teammates in the eye
and tell them not to bother
showing up for practice anymore.
You decide.
don't you think we should talk?
It's pretty simple.
I'll give the
team a 100 percent.
You'll stay in stroke.
[Mr. Singleton] Well, break it
down, get me the cost analysis.
Hang on.
He switch you back?
I did what you wanted,
and I realized
coach Murphy is right.
I was
willing to slack off.
Shows I didn't
deserve to be in stroke seat
in the first place.
Boat's faster with
John in stroke, Dad.
I'll stay in seven seat.
The Olympic
coaches can see me there
and I'll be able
to sleep at night.
We're gonna race.
This'll be a cake walk.
I get a five
minute head start.
Check that.
Not a cake walk.
Five minutes?!
there's no way we catch him.
Yes we can,
just follow John.
Let's blow the
doors off this old man.
Ready all!
Eight lengths up,
but we're flying.
Big 10 in 2,
that's one.
That's two.
That's it,
Stay strong.
[Coach Murphy] Stop here.
Look around,
take in the moment.
This was your classroom.
You're ready to race.
All right boys,
time to feed the river gods.
Hey Alex,
why don't you give the command?
Are you guys ready?
Throw on two...
[referee] Row!
[Ted] Drive! Find the
rhythm! Find the rhythm!
That's it,
that's it.
We're walking!
[John] MJ,
grab a shirt.
Smells like shit.
[John] Yeah,
- Alex Singleton!
- Yeah!
I don't want
to bother you.
I just wanted
to apologize...
for being such
a persistent pest.
Thank you.
Alex, do you have a
date for the graduation ball?
Neither does Lili.
She does now.
I mean if you...
if you'll have me.
All right.
[Chris] What's wrong?
Look at what
just came in the mail.
You didn't open it?
Why bother? I mean,
look how small the envelope is.
That doesn't
mean anything.
I suppose on the
long list of life's tragedies
not getting the
Rhodes is at the very bottom.
I suppose I could
just go back to London,
and you know, put on my big
girl pants and get a real job.
You can do
anything you want,
go wherever
you want to go.
You're a rockstar.
It's all gonna be fine.
Okay. Thank you.
Okay, do you want
to get in the shower,
- and I'll get changed.
- Okay.
We'll get me
that ice cream.
All right,
listen up.
The bus leaves tomorrow morning,
6:00 a.m. sharp.
I know you're
getting dolled up
in your rental tuxedos for
some graduation thing tonight.
I want you to go early,
sip a half-glass
of champagne
and leave early.
This is the last race
before championships.
You have a perfect
record. Let's keep it that way.
- All right?
- Yes, sir.
- Kimball.
- Yeah?
National team
coaches called me today.
You interested in
Olympic camp this summer?
Am I interested
in rowing for USA?
I take that as a yes.
Yes sir.
Did Alex get an invite?
That's a
conversation I'll have to manage
after the race.
Did you see our last race?
I did.
We're fast.
You know,
there's no greater feeling
than the pride a
father feels for his son.
And you took
that away from me.
The Olympic
coaches made their calls today.
I can still go to tryouts.
They'd just send you
home after the first day.
- You don't know that.
- Yeah, I do know that.
So what are you going to
do after they send you home?
You got a plan?
You have a job lined up?
you know who they did invite?
That's right.
Kimball got your invitation.
He's going to
row in the Olympics.
You know what all you
had to do was listen to me.
You know, maybe he
really is the better man.
Sara clearly thinks so.
[John] I have a slight
announcement to make. Bam!
- Oh.
- We did it!
Appreciate it,
thank you, thank you,
couldn't have
done it without you.
You look beautiful.
Thank you.
[John] Y'all ready?
We're gonna dance, what's up.
Can I talk to
you for a minute?
so I've been thinking,
do you want me to stay
here with you after I graduate?
I thought you
wanted to go back home.
That was before I realized
I was falling in love with you.
Are you falling
in love with me?
How many
times did you tell me
the Rhodes is your dream
and you're
going back to England?
Then you didn't get it,
and suddenly
I'm your fallback option?
that's not what's hap...
So what,
is there somebody else? Or what?
mentioned that you have
an ex-girlfriend
back in Wisconsin.
So did you get
back together with her?
Why do I have to
pry everything out of you?
You should go back home.
Did she break your
heart? Is that what happened?
You're so sad.
You're so pathetic.
She broke your heart,
you can't let
anyone else back in again?
Is that what happened,
Nish. She did break my heart.
She was in the
car with my parents.
I... I didn't...
I didn't know.
My God, why didn't
you talk about this before?
Why didn't
you say anything?
'Cause talking
won't bring anybody back.
Chris, talking can
help you move past it.
I'm trying to get past it,
I really am.
But every time I row,
it reminds me they're gone.
Because I insisted
they come
watch some stupid race.
It's always been
about me and rowing.
You can't just
hold on to all of that.
you can talk to me.
Can you say
something please?
You should go back home.
Tell everyone
inside that I feel sick.
and I just
want to go home.
[Alex] Hey.
I'm sorry Alex, I don't drink.
- Sorry. I forgot.
- No, no worries.
I just thought the
occasion deserved a toast.
Sara told you?
Told me what?
Told me what?
We got engaged,
Wow. No,
Sara did not tell me.
I'm sorry. I
thought the way you...
dude. Congrats.
Yeah. Thank
you. Thank you.
You got it all,
Stroke seat.
- The Olympics.
- Oh, coach told you?
My dad told me.
Congrats again.
Thank you.
What did
you want to toast?
to a great team. Forget it.
To a great team.
And a great stern pair.
Get this out of
here before Sara sees.
- Hey.
- Hey.
Why do you
taste like champagne?
Do I?
I'm going back to my room.
- Why?
- What happened, where's Nish?
We broke up.
Listen... where are you going,
We'll talk later.
what a great party.
I'm tipsy.
You okay?
long night.
- Talk about it tomorrow?
- Sure.
[Lili chuckles]
Oh my god.
I think I've
had enough tonight.
No. Get hideously
drunk with me please.
That's a
good girl. Oh god.
- [moans]
- You okay?
All right,
let's get you to bed.
Come on. Come on.
There you go. Okay.
[Sara] John?
[Chris] John.
What're you doing?
Stay out of this.
[Chris] What?
Open up!
- Is John here?
- No, what's going on?
Where'd he go?
I don't know. He tore down
all his shirts and stormed out.
He's drinking.
What the hell are you doing,
John? Huh?
Listen to me. It's not
what you think, all right?
It's not what you think,
John. Okay?
God damn it. Stay down.
Put your hands on your
head and take two steps back.
Whoa, Whoa,
Whoa, Whoa. Whoa.
- Officer it's, it's not what...
- No! Stop!
I can't find
him! I can't find him!
John! John!
Where is he?
[officer] We'll find
the body at sun-up.
The kid won't quit.
Get in the boat.
[Coach Murphy] Come on,
now, get in the boat.
I can save him. I can save him.
No, he's gone,
you keep diving like that,
you're gonna end up
at the bottom with him.
Now get in this boat,
Come on,
come on, come on, now.
[Mr. Singleton] Hey.
Look Alex, you can't
blame yourself for this.
You tried to save him.
Okay, the best thing you
can do right now is to get back
on the water. The
championships are this weekend.
You focus on that,
not this.
I'm not rowing.
What do you
mean you're not rowing?
If you don't row
this weekend, son,
you can really kiss
the Olympics goodbye.
Are you kidding me?
I can't face them.
All right. Okay.
You're not going to row.
Nobody's going to row.
Don't touch it.
I just don't get
what happened.
It was Alex.
Nobody wants to say it,
but we're all thinking it.
let's have a seat please.
Where's Coach Murphy?
He resigned
after the service.
He's no longer your coach.
Well, as you're aware,
the championship is
in a few days and
in light of this tragedy,
President Harris
and I had a conversation
as to whether
competition was appropriate.
After careful consideration,
we've decided it's best
if you withdraw,
I'm sure you understand.
It's better if we race.
You still wanna race?
What's that going to change?
You want to race?
Go without me. I'm out.
Then we're agreed.
Heard the team
decided not to race.
You resigned.
they forced me out.
None of it matters now.
You sure?
John was the team.
Rowing a boat for six
minutes won't bring him back.
Race is only six minutes,
How could that
possibly matter?
But what if the
race was 60 minutes
or 60 days or 60 years?
Would it matter then?
I rowed in a
boat with your father
way back when at
the Olympic tryouts.
He was a good oarsman,
good man.
We got drafted
into the army together.
You said your dad
didn't talk about the army.
I understand why.
Everyone says thank you,
calls you a hero,
tries to make
you feel better.
It just made
me feel more alone.
I wasn't a hero.
I was just trying to save
my friends and I failed them.
And afterwards,
from time to time,
I'd asked myself
why bother anymore?
And then one day I
realized I shouldn't ask myself.
I should ask them.
If they could come back,
somehow, get a little more life,
little more time,
would they?
Would they come
back even if it meant
constant guilt,
constant pain?
And I knew their
answer would be yes,
even if it was
only for six minutes.
Even if it was with
their hands blistered,
and their lungs burning,
their souls shattered.
They'd come back.
A loss is not the end.
Don't make it into one.
These are for you.
[Chris] What's this?
follow. If you lead.
please open the door.
I know you're in there.
Sara made
this gift for you.
And well,
it was supposed to be for John,
but she asked
me to give it to you
to help you
remember good times.
Chris, I'd really
like to hand it to you.
Okay. I'll just
leave it here then.
I go back to
London tomorrow but...
I really do wish
you so much happiness
and no more heartbreak.
What I said
before was wrong.
I'm sorry.
John was the
heart of this team
and we lost him.
But our
team is still here.
We need to race.
[Lance] What
are you talking about?
The race is today.
There's no way
we beat Harvard now.
We're gonna race.
Why are they here?
We need two
more to fill out the boat.
We can't win,
you know that.
I'll tell you what I know.
I know what it's
like to be alone in a boat
with a bunch
of empty seats.
I know I miss
John. That's a...
big hole.
We have one more race.
to make that
hole a little bit smaller.
I wanna row one more time
with eight of you.
Together. As a team.
Who's with me?
Who's with me?
I'm in.
Me too.
What the hell.
All right.
[Ted] This one's old.
I want new ones.
All right, let's get
hands on. Up to heads and go.
Gentleman, put the
boat down. You're not racing.
[Ted] Split.
we are.
I've just left
the regatta director,
your entry has
been withdrawn.
Put it down.
You'll all be charged with
theft of university property.
[Alex] Let them race,
If you care about me
at all you'll let them race.
Go around him.
It's okay. Go.
Stern to me.
Sit ready.
Twenty high!
In the pop!
And that's our big 20.
[Harvard Cox]
Go now. Sit up.
[Ted] Stay relaxed.
Still moving.
[Harvard Cox]
That's it! That's it!
[Ted] Drive! Drive!
Okay boys,
we're in good position.
I got five seats.
Give me six now.
we gotta take it up.
Not yet.
[Ted] Match their move!
We're a length up
on everyone but Harvard!
It's just us and them!
Us and them!
[Harvard Cox] There it is,
there it is.
[Ted] In the fingers,
in the fingers.
Swing back.
Swing back.
Swing back.
That's it boys! Commit!
Match their move!
we gotta take it up now.
Not yet.
[Ted] We're a length down.
Holding at a length down.
Hold for our
move. Hold for our move.
Up now!
Let's take it
up! Let's get it back!
Up two in two.
Push now!
Harvard's calling a push!
Match their
move! Match their move!
That's it! Keep walking!
Give me that four seat!
We're walking!
Give me that three seat!
Three seats!
And walking!
Find it! Dig it!
Take it back!
Take it back!
That's you,
Legs Chaaa!
Legs Chaaa!
Legs Chaaa!
[Harvard Cox] Clean. Good.
We're the national champions.
In two,
ten to break.
One! Yeah!
There it is. We're gone.
They're done!
[taking deep breaths]
Eyes closed.
Eyes closed.
Listen up.
Close your eyes.
Eyes closed.
Close your eyes.
It's raining.
Are you
gonna say anything?
I wish it was snowing.