The Damned United (2009)
Pssst, want to check out The Damned United in our new look?
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Until recently I did not know this film existed and can now conclude that this is the best film about football or Soccer as they call it in the US.
Coming from someone who has a nostalgic relation to the first Goal film.
What? A sports movie? Me?!? And a biographical one to boot? AND about British football? Between this and The King's Speech, director Tom Hooper seems to have a knack for taking real life stories that, as 2-line blurbs, seem slight and uninteresting, and turning them into captivating, rich and powerfully executed feature films. The Damned United is the story of maverick team manager (we'd say "coach") Brian Clough, well-known in Britain but a mystery to me, who took on a team he hated and failed where he had always succeeded before. Michael Sheen turns in a fun, layered performance, with strong support from Timothy Spall as his assistant manager and Meany as his legendary rival. The film's clever structure, taking us from "present day" 1974 to the past to see how the rivalry started, is a highlight, but spinning the story into what is essentially a professional love triangle means even this non-sports fan has something to latch onto and care about. You don't need to understand the nuances (or politics) of football to love the film, but what's there manages to register anyway (often through actual archival footage that reminds you this really happened).
Outstanding portrayal by Michael Sheen.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!