I don't know about you, but I so enjoy a healthy dose of feel-good documentaries. They uplift and inspire the viewer, giving us cause to continue our work in the world. Thank you, Thin Line, for bringing us Gifted.
Clearly, I am not a bodybuilder. I chose to review this film because of my young son's interest in bodybuilding. He wants to be tough and strong when he grows up, and I thought it might be a good idea to see what that really looks like behind the scenes.
The journey of Phil Heath is depicted so well in this film. We see him morph from child to Mr. Olympia, grunting and smiling along the way. The important part for me: smiling. This is not a fake stage smile, but a genuine love of what he does and for those who support him. This man works hard every day with every workout and every meal, yet still takes the time to look fans in the eye and thank them for coming. He appreciates his wife, his friends, his trainer, and his competition.
Phil Heath not only shows us what it takes to be Mr. Olympia, he inspires us to work hard to reach our goals. The film points out that this title took years in the making. We see the progress along the way in old photographs and note the small changes lead to bigger ones. As an artist, I see that every little step moves me forward on my path. And you don't have to be a bodybuilder to see the importance of taking good care of your body along the way.
Gifted shows us life lessons that are useful to people of all ages. If you want to bring the kids, be aware that there is some strong language. Personally, I don't think it's enough to keep my kids from seeing it. Also note that filmmaker Johnathan McFarlane and subject Phil Heath will be in attendance.
So go, see Gifted, and enjoy that feel-good film! It's showing on February 20th at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre. Phil Heath will also be doing a signing at Banter on Thursday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m.