Though the trailer focuses completely on the doping scandal and revealing how high the cover up went, the doc as a whole will be a bit different. Those who saw the film at Sundance have been helpful in setting expectations. The first half of the runtime is dedicated to the filmmaker Bryan Fogel as he subjects himself to doping under the supervision of anti-doping director Grigory Rodchenkov. It is in the midst of that experience that Fogel discovers the OTHER huge Russian scandal that was going on during 2016.
Official synopsis for “Icarus:”
“In the truly audacious documentary ICARUS, director Bryan Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection. In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory. Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. ICARUS places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.“
Though the year is still early and we will be learning about more Best Documentary Feature possibilities through the festival season, “Icarus” should be considered a heavy hitter for the award. Though a scandal in the world of sports may not be as weighty as politics or other human interest pieces, “Icarus” is still poised to hit the zeitgeist and snag a nomination. If anything, no other film has the opportunity to show Vladimir Putin with the voiceover saying “criminal” and do so in a legitimate way (unless there are some world-changing documentaries coming out this year we don’t know about).
What does everybody here think? Will you be checking out “Icarus” when it hits Netflix on August 4? Do you think it is lock for a nomination? Let us know in the comments below!
You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @JoshTarpley7