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Danny Boyle wins global praise for Olympics opening ceremony

Danny Boyle directs 127 Hours

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH director Danny Boyle has won near universal praise for overseeing the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.

Newspapers and commentators have generally been impressed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s vision, which they say mixed the historical with a playful sense of adventure. They also liked the way it veered away from the political.

Heading the fanfare was The Times, which described the three-hour ceremony as a “masterpiece”, adding: “Adventurous, self-confident, playful, entertaining, and all with a sense of history.”

Simon Barnes added: “London turned down the option to celebrate giants and supermen and power and might and chose instead to celebrate people.”

Across the pond, US reaction was led by The New York Times, which wrote: “With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is.”

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, opined: “The ballsy choice of Danny Boyle to oversee the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony yielded a unique take on large-canvas nation-themed spectacle that is likely to go down as one of the more eccentric and memorable kick-offs in the Games’ history.”

The Sydney Morning Herald, meanwhile, described it as “an unforgettable start”, adding: “Boyle’s vivid and vibrant pageant set the tone for these Games and perhaps even a new direction for the Olympic movement. Rio has a hard act to follow, which won’t deter it at all.”

While the China Daily reported that “Britain’s Queen Elizabeth declared the London Olympics open after playing a cameo role in a dizzying ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport”.

Among the other British commentators to express an opinion, The Guardian said the film with James Bond and the Queen “formed one of the highlights of Danny Boyle’s tumultuously inventive opening ceremony to the 2012 Games”.

While The Daily Mail felt that the lighting of the Olympic flame by seven unheralded young athletes was “the coolest moment of an amazing show”.

An editorial in The Sun, meanwhile, described the event as a “magic night”.

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