Roy gets cut from his high school football team just days after his estranged father dies. For him, football is more than a proving ground; it is a promised escape from his lonely rural existence and salvation from the paralyzing passivity that dominates his life. Enter Gideon, a loner living on the roughneck fringe who is looking for gamers--kids who scrap hard--to play on his six-man football squad. Roy joins the Renegades, and he and Gideon enter into tenuous friendship that pushes the limits of male bonding. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Some of the songs referenced by Gid and/or Floyd throughout the movie include
"Ragged But Right" by Riley Puckett 1934
"Nothing But Trouble" by Lonnie Johnson 1929
"Cash On The Barrelhead" by The Louvin Brothers 1954
"Rank Stranger" by Albert E. Brumley 1954
"Will Jesus Wash The Bloodstains From Your Hands?" by Hazel Dickens 1964
"Straighten Up And Fly Right" by The Nat King Cole Trio 1949
"Wayfaring Pilgrim" by Almeda Riddle 1932
Gid also references "Drifting Too Far From The Shore" and "Going Back To Jericho" during the ice fishing scene but he doesn't state an artist or year. There is a deleted scene in which Floyd references "I Ain't Drunk, I Am Just Drinkng" by Jimmy Liggins but Gid interrupts him before he can state the year. See more »
My father told me if I was hard enough, I wouldn't break. He lied. Everything breaks.
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I must have been standing next the to the last reviewer in the hallway (at the Park City Library) at Sundance. Morse walked by along with the directors. I managed to corral Andrew Smith and ask him about the movie. (These directors LOVE to talk about their work.)
First of all, this is not a great movie, and may never be fit for the mass market. But it is, I think, a good movie and a very powerful and thought-provoking one. My initial reaction, which I passed onto Smith, was that I was moved by the internal conflict in this unusual coming-of-age story. What kind of man is Gosling going to become? How will he deal not just with the peer pressures and love interests, but with societal prejudices and the essence of humanity, compassion and kindness. Interestingly, I learned that an early tagline considered for the film was something like "What makes a man?"
David Morse's performance is absolutely incredible in this movie. I spoke to a film critic about it and he said he thought Morse was the best American actor that no one has heard of. It is an extremely challenging and enigmatic role that he plays with a poignant, compelling and believable complexity. I was at the same time deeply moved, repulsed, angered and sympathetic. I was reminded that there is good and bad in all of us, and that the demons within are part of the essence of humanity.
Maybe too deep and philosophical for a movie about 8-man football. And that's just it--it's a situational contrast that's unexpected and jarring. If you ever get a chance to see this film, grab it.
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