The Bronze (film)

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The Bronze
The Bronze poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBryan Buckley
Written by
Produced byStephanie Langhoff
CinematographyScott Henriksen
Edited byJay Nelson
Music by
  • Andrew Feltenstein
  • John Nau
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • January 22, 2015 (2015-01-22) (Sundance)
  • March 18, 2016 (2016-03-18) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3.5 million[1]
Box office$615,816[2]

The Bronze is a 2015 American sports comedy-drama film directed by Bryan Buckley and written by Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch. It was produced by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass through their Duplass Brothers Productions banner. The film stars Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Haley Lu Richardson and Dale Raoul. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2015,[3] and was theatrically released on March 18, 2016, by Sony Pictures Classics.


Former gymnastics Bronze Medalist Hope Ann Greggory has been living off her celebrity status in her hometown of Amherst, Ohio, though she is reduced to going through her postal worker father's mail deliveries for spending money. When her former coach Pavleck suddenly commits suicide, a letter arrives addressed to Hope stating that if she can guide Pavleck's best student, a young gymnastics star named Maggie Townsend to the Olympics in Toronto, she will receive a $500,000 inheritance.

Unwilling to be overshadowed by Maggie's success, Hope instead plans to take the money by sabotaging Maggie's training so she can stay on top, initially feeding her junk food and a shake laced with marijuana. Maggie performs so poorly that arrogant Olympic Gold Medalist Lance Tucker, the team coordinator who resents Hope's celebrity on account of her inferior bronze medal (which she won despite a career-ending injury), threatens to take over as Maggie's coach. When Hope learns she will forfeit the inheritance money if she does not continue training Maggie, Hope grudgingly devotes herself to Maggie's training in earnest. Along the way, she enters a romance with her assistant coach Ben Lawfort, nicknamed "Twitchy" due to his involuntary facial spasm.

Hope's efforts eventually pay off when Maggie qualifies for the Olympic Games. However, she is shocked to discover that Pavleck's gym is in danger of closing because Pavleck had no money to her name when she died. Upon hearing the news, Hope's father confesses that he was the one who wrote the letter, hoping to motivate Hope to do something meaningful with her life. After a heated exchange, Hope gets drunk and ends up having sex with Lance, leading a heartbroken Ben, who witnessed the act, to break off their relationship.

Maggie wins the gold medal and is celebrated as a local hero in Amherst, but announces her intention to begin training with Lance in Los Angeles instead of staying with Hope. When Maggie fails to show up for an autograph signing at a mall, Hope addresses the disappointed crowd and declares that she will always be Amherst's hero. She comes up with a plan to finance Pavleck's gym on her own by selling uniforms and gymnastics lessons to local girls. She then apologizes to Ben and retains him as her assistant coach.

In the epilogue, a caption reveals that Maggie was forced to abandon her gymnastics career after becoming pregnant with Lance's child. Hope continues to coach gymnastics, though none of her pupils have gone on to any distinction in the sport.



On July 9, 2014, it was reported Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong and Haley Lu Richardson had all been cast in the film, as well as that Stephanie Langhoff would produce the film under the Duplass Brothers Productions banner.[4]


Principal photography on the film began on July 4, 2014, in Amherst, Ohio.[5] Production on the film concluded on July 26, 2014.[6] In an interview after Sundance, Rauch stated that she and Buckley trimmed scenes and restored some original story ideas for a new theatrical version.[7]


In July 2014, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired international distribution rights to the film.[8] The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2015.[3][9] Shortly after, Relativity Media acquired distribution rights to the film.[10] The film was originally scheduled for release in July 2015, and then October 2015.[11] In September 2015, it was pulled from the schedule.[12] The same month, Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S distribution rights instead, and it was announced that Stage 6 Films would distribute the film internationally.[13] The film was to be released in a limited release on March 11, 2016,[14] but was delayed a week to March 18, 2016, in favor of a wide release.[15]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 36%, based on 99 reviews, with an average rating of 5.13/10. The site's consensus reads, "Enthusiastically unpleasant and mostly unfunny, The Bronze fails to stick the landing – or much else along the way."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 44 out of 100, based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[17]

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote: "Though no one would accuse The Bronze of not being funny, it somehow manages not to be funny often enough."[18] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "one of those comedies that could have been a brilliant short film on 'Funny or Die' or 'Saturday Night Live', but wears out its welcome as a feature-length film."[19]


  1. ^ Hill, Logan (January 22, 2015). "Super Bowl Ad Director Bryan Buckley on His New Sundance Film and 'This Is SportsCenter'". Esquire. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "The Bronze (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (January 23, 2015). "'The Bronze': Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (July 9, 2014). "Sony Buys Melissa Rauch Comedy 'The Bronze'". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "Big Bang Theory's Melissa Rauch filming 'The Bronze' in Ohio". July 4, 2014. Archived from the original on August 14, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "On The Set For 7/28/14: 'Ted 2' Starts For Universal Pictures, 'The Greens Are Gone' Wraps". July 28, 2014. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Hasty, Katie (January 27, 2016). "Meet The Most Amazingly Filthy Female Character You'll See Onscreen This Year". Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Latham, Brandon (July 9, 2014). "Sony Pictures Worldwide Goes for Gold and Picks Up 'The Bronze' starring Cecily Strong and Melissa Rauch". Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Keiser, Tom (March 22, 2016). ""The Bronze" Is A Funny, Mean Movie About Gymnastics, And No One Saw It". Vice. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Sundance: Relativity Buys 'The Bronze' for $3 Million (Updated)". Variety. January 24, 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  11. ^ Lang, Brent (May 28, 2015). "'The Bronze' Pushed to October to Avoid Summer Comedy Crush". Variety. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Lang, Brent (September 8, 2015). "Relativity Studios Postpones Three Films Indefinitely". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  13. ^ Pedersen, Erik (September 11, 2015). "Ex-Relativity Pic 'The Bronze' Lands At Sony Pictures Classics". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  14. ^ Doty, Meriah (November 18, 2015). "'The Bronze' Trailer Goes for Gold With NSFW Gymnast Humor". Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  15. ^ Alessandro, Anthony D. (December 9, 2015). "Sony Pictures Classics Will Spring Relativity Pickup 'The Bronze' On March 18". Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Bronze (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "The Bronze reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  18. ^ Debruge, Peter (23 January 2015). "Sundance Film Review: 'The Bronze'". Variety.
  19. ^ Roeper, Richard (17 March 2016). "'The Bronze': Washed-up gymnast an all-around irritant". Chicago Sun-Times.

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