Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Damned United - Movie Review

You don't ever know what you'll come across at Redbox when all the popular titles are gone. We chose The Damned United because there was little else available and I'd remembered hearing not-bad things about it. Good enough, then.

It didn't disappoint. It's about Brian Clough's 44 days as head coach of Leeds United, a popular soccer team in England. Yeah, I know, so what? Well, it was a pretty big thing in England back in the early 70s and this movie does a good job showing you why. I'm not a big sports fan so I don't quite understand the obsession but in England soccer's as big as football. No surprise there, I guess but what was interesting was to see working-class England in all its late 60s and early 70s shabbiness, with the bad hair and loud clothes. Clough rose through the ranks and was chosen to lead a popular team when that team's thuggish coach moved on but hubris got the best of him and down he crashed. It's a story that obsessed the sports world while it was occurring but little known to me, so it was fascinating to learn.

The movie has a gritty look and feel which matches perfectly what appears to be actual footage from the era. Look for pictures of the real players in this drama at the end; the movie makers did a fine job matching the actors to the rolls. (And Michael Sheen, who's seemingly making a career out of playing Tony Blair and David Frost, does another great job here.)

A good choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment