1 item from 2002
"A Shot at Glory" is a straightforward sports movie that treats its audience to ample amounts of soccer action while keeping its characters and narration as simple as possible. Filming in several stadiums with as many as 10 cameras rolling at once, the film captures the excitement this sport generates among its fans. A pet project for producer-star Robert Duvall, who recruited Denis O'Neill to pen the script, "Glory" is directed by Michael Corrente with an eye to establishing a Scottish blue-collar environment and the passion many of its citizens feel for soccer.
Made more than two years ago and languishing on the shelf since its debut at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival, "Glory" is now getting a shot at theatrical glory beginning with a limited release in six Southwestern cities from newly formed MAC Releasing. The film should attract sports fans as well as fans of Duvall. Overseas, where soccer fanaticism is rampant, the film is an even surer bet. (The film has already played in the United Kingdom, where it did well.) Nor does it hurt that Scottish soccer great Ally McCoist makes a lively acting debut with the movie.
Duvall plays Gordon McLeod, the manager of a Second Division team in a tiny seaside town in Scotland that hasn't won a championship in 100 years. With such a limited fan base, the team's American owner, Peter Cameron (Michael Keaton), is eyeing a move to Dublin, Ireland, to add value to his investment.
Meanwhile, Peter hires a former First Division superstar, striker Jackie McQuillan (McCoist), willfully ignoring the fact that booze and womanizing have brought down not only Jackie's career but also his marriage to Gordon's daughter, Kate (Kirsty Mitchell). Earning more money than the rest of the team combined and still beholden to his errant ways, Jackie nevertheless inspires a winning streak that carries the lightly regarded team into the Scottish Cup finals. The proposition then becomes simple: If the team beats the Glasgow Rangers -- against almost impossible odds -- Peter will allow it to remain in its hometown.
There are only two real conflicts in the movie: between Gordon and his spoiled son-in-law and then between Gordon and his own daughter, whom he has never forgiven for marrying Jackie. There is a nominal villain in Brian Cox's Martin Smith, the Rangers' manager and a onetime mate of Gordon who long ago betrayed him. But Martin pops up too late in the movie to generate any sparks.
Mostly, the movie exists for its soccer action and its fine acting. Duvall's Gordon is a man who treasures his betrayals. He nurtures wounds with righteous pride and wears disdain for those who inflict them as if it were the finest silk. In his first role ever, McCoist displays such a friendly, amiable manner he could easily continue in acting if he so desired. Mitchell and Morag Hood ably play the two long-suffering women of Gordon's life -- his daughter and wife. Oda Schuster is most amusing as the team's aging locker room assistant, who seemingly performs all chores that do not involve kicking a ball.
Alex Thomson's cinematography is first-rate, and Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) provides the Scottish-accented music, which nicely punctuates the action and occasional moments of drama.
A SHOT AT GLORY
Revere Pictures presents a Butchers Run film
Director: Michael Corrente
Screenwriter: Denis O'Neill
Producers: Robert Duvall, Rob Carliner, Michael Corrente
Executive producers: Roger Marino, Steven Bowman
Director of photography: Alex Thomson
Production designer: Andy Harris
Music: Mark Knopfler
Costume designer: Trisha Biggar
Editor: David Ray
Gordon McCleod: Robert Duvall
Jackie McQuillan: Ally McCoist
Peter Cameron: Michael Keaton
Martin Smith: Brian Cox
Kelsey: Cole Hauser
Kate: Kirsty Mitchell
Irene: Morag Hood.
Running time -- 114 minutes
MPAA rating: R
1 item from 2002
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