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Mark Herman's (2000) film, drawn from Jonathan Tullock's novel 'Season Ticket', is set in Newcastle upon Tyne in the late '90s.
It weaves the tale of Gerry (Chris Beattie) and Sewell (Greg McLane) as they struggle to make sense of the deficiencies in their fractured lives and solve their insoluble problems, with football.
Within the framework of the close friendship between these two young men, we join them on a journey around Newcastle which can have only one ultimate destination - St James' Park, the home of the 'Toon', Newcastle United Football Club.
But the route is tortuous and led by the fertile imagination and determination of Gerry, Sewell and the rest of us are drawn along as we get to know the characters who populate their special world.
Gerry's semi-absent father (Tim Healy) terrorises the family between safe houses, beating his mother (Charlie Hardwick) and abusing his sister (Kerry Ann Christiansen) as he goes, while Sewell's grandfather (Roy Hudd) struggles to fill the gap left by his parents who have absconded long ago.
Yet, despite everything that confronts them, they unite together with a single, simple achievable aim in life - season tickets to watch Newcastle play.
This is a great film which - like Mark Herman's earlier films 'Brassed Off' and 'Little Voice' - contains the essential spirit of the region it reflects. What shines through is the indominatable spirit and irrepressible resilience of the young.
As the film closes a final unexpected twist places our two heroes exactly where they have wanted to be all along.
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