Julie Arsenault, a star of cycling is two races away from the world cup. She loves her sport, the spotlight and all the hoopla that goes with it. Encouraged by her coach and doctor, she takes performance enhancers from age 14. Since she is a high-profile athlete, the anti-doping agency keeps an eye on her. After a close call test in Phoenix Arizona where Julie trains, the agency zeroes in on her doctor who, in order to save his hide denounces her. A scandal ensues. A deeply troubled and upset Julie tries to mask the truth along with her unscrupulous coach. This film is based on the life of ex-cyclist Geneviève Jeanson who was implicated in a scandal involving EPO, a performance enhancer, illegal in cycling competitions. Jeanson collaborated as a consultant on the film. Laurence Leboeuf offers a strong performance as Julie, a.k.a. Geneviève who thrives and has to live with a lie in order to keep her place in the sun and the spotlights on her. Patrice Robitaille steals the show as the unscrupulous, manipulative coach who will stop at nothing to brainwash and control Julie just for the sake of winning. The film is an interesting reflection on how far athletes are willing to go to be the best. You can’t watch this film without thinking of Lance Armstrong or Ben Johnson. All athletes who wanted to be the best, who cheated and who, in the end disgraced themselves. The higher they want to climb, the harder they will fall. A must see movie this summer for sports fans, although it might leave a sour taste in their mouth.
La petite reine