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Gordon McLeod is the manager of a second tier Scottish football team. Faced with pressure from his American owner, he is forced to bring on a marquee player to improve the fortunes of the team and prevents its being moved from the fiercely loyal town it's been for a century. Along the way, McLeod must battle his own demons, including long-standing tiffs with both his daughter and a former colleague who betrayed him. Written by
This might not be a great movie, but it's a long way from being a bad one. The plot is standard sports movie material - plucky underdogs, previous grudges, former star slipping down the sports food chain, last chance at glory - but it's carried off with some style.
Robert Duvall is good, and draws on several well known soccer managers from UK mining towns for his portrayal. British viewers can play 'spot the managerial reference'. Reviewers in Scotland were critical of Duvall's accent, but it's not that bad, although it veers in to an Irish accent once or twice. Writing from Scotland, I would have thought it would sound pretty convincing to non-Scottish viewers.
Ally McCoist does well, and the references to his own career are entertaining. The football scenes are well done, and far better than some other soccer movies. Compared to 'Escape to Victory', for example, it's a soccer masterclass.
Our soccer-mad son would enjoy it, but the language in the movie and a sex scene makes it unsuitable (although the swearing is toned down compared to most football matches I've attended). Overall, a decent film that will probably increase in appeal over the years as the local furore over accents and football loyalties is forgotten.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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