Lindsey Vonn makes her directorial debut by profiling skiing icon Picabo Street in the new documentary, Picabo, streaming on Peacock.
Vonn joins veteran filmmaker and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Frank Marshall in the process of stepping behind the camera. That being said, we also see a good amount of Vonn in front of the camera, too. What makes Vonn a good filmmaker and interviewer in the film is her relationship with Picabo Street. You don’t have to worry about building a relationship with the documentary subject because it’s already there. After all, Street was the skiing icon in the 1990s when Vonn was growing up. In fact, Vonn mentions still having a signed poster hanging up in her bedroom and shows it to Street before the film ends. It makes for a fun moment after watching all the highs and lows. While I don’t know how much is due to either Frank Marshall or Lindsey Vonn, Vonn shows promise as a director should she continue to pursue such endeavors.
No stone is left unturned in this documentary. Along with clips from her appearances on Sesame Street and American Gladiators, we get a host of archive footage from throughout the skier’s career. Marshall and Vonn span Street’s entire career and take us behind the scenes. We get everything from Street’s childhood in Idaho through her highs and lows during and after her career. It would be hard to make this film and not discuss the 2015 arrest due to false allegations. I’ll have more on this soon.
A silver medal finish during the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer gave Street the motivation she needed to win gold during the 1998 games in Nagano. The Super G gold medal wasn’t a sure thing because Street was hammered by injuries both before and after. She was out for all of the 1997 season and shortly after the 1998 games, Street would miss the next two years. After a 16th place finish in Salt Lake City, the skier retired from international competition.
While it’s fun to watch the highlight clips from her skiing career, the high points in the film come whenever Vonn and Street are talking. Because both of them were members of the 2002 U.S. Ski Team, it’s like you’re watching two friends talking. The interview does get emotional especially when Street discusses the 2015 arrest. If you’re not familiar, Street had been arrested after being accused of throwing her father down the stairs. In they end, the charges against her were dropped. But again, it’s one of those moments that you must include in telling her story. Otherwise, it would be incomplete.
If you were familiar with Picabo Street in the 1990s, some of this film won’t be new. However, Picabo offers a nice way of introducing a new generation to the 1990s skiing icon.
DIRECTORS: Frank Marshall & Lindsey Vonn
FEATURING: Picabo Street, Lindsey Vonn, Baba Street, Heidi Voelker, Herwig Demschar, Paul Major, Jake Shores
Peacock launches Picabo on January 21, 2022.
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