All For One Documentary Directors: Dan Jones and Marcus Cobbledick Showing: At select cinemas Rating: ★★★★
By LAURENCE ROSEN
Australians love an underdog story.
In 2011, professional cycling in Australia was at a crossroads. Victorian-born Cadel Evans had just become the first Australian to win the Tour de France, but in the background, the Lance Armstrong doping scandal was escalating.
Directed by Dan Jones and Marcus Cobbledick, All for One tells the origin story of Australia’s maiden professional cycling team, Orica-GreenEdge (now named Orica-Scott).
In the typically murky realms of professional doping emerged a brand-new team, free from the traditional baggage that has dogged the sport. It was an underdog story that, in truth, went under the radar at the time.
Viewers are invited into the world of sports directors Matt White and Neil Stephens, offering a rare backstage glimpse into the inner circles of a professional sporting team.
What stands out in this 100-minute documentary is the characters, especially veteran Australian rider Mathew Hayman and Colombian Esteban Chaves. Their success after respective setbacks adds an extra layer of emotional investment and connection for the cyclists.
All for One’s triumph is not its method; it is produced using a tried and tested documentary style. Rather, it is the characters it exposes and the access it provides that makes this a must-watch for any cycling – and indeed sports – fan in this country. One minute it details the lows of a training crash and the next the team is making the world laugh through their viral YouTube videos.
All too often, sporting clubs tend to hide their talent away from the media. It’s a credit to Orica and its team for allowing the cameras in and giving old and new sports fans a glimpse of what it is like in the inner circle.
All for One doesn’t break any real ground in terms of originality, but it’s a thoroughly entertaining watch. It’s long, but the extra time allows the directors to explore what makes this team tick and the characters that have defined its first five years.
Packed with emotional interviews, you can add this documentary to the ever-growing stable of must-watch Australian sport stories on the big screen.