Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Beautiful Game

Based loosely on real stories, The Beautiful Game follows the British football team to Rome for the Homeless World Cup (a real tournament that uses a football championship which features homeless players of various skills from countries around the world to bring awareness to homelessness). The tournament, which many likely know very little about, is certainly a heartwarming topic to build a movie around. The stories we get told with it as it's backdrop, however, are a bit more hit-and-miss.

Featuring both talented and awful teams, the film chooses one in the middle of the pack to focus on. However, my attention was always diverted to the Japanese team (players just wanting to score a single goal and who steal the best scene of the film in wandering around the city without their coach) or the South African team (delayed to beaurcracy and nearly missing the tournament) than the English coach (Bill Nighy) and his players. 

The story we are given is mostly harmless, if a bit schmaltzy, focusing on a talented soccer player (Micheal Ward) struggling with the recency of his homelessness who elevates the talent level of the England team, although struggles mightily with both accepting his current situation and finding common ground with his teammates. My favorite character on the team, however, is Robin Nazari as the data-obsessed Aldar who aside from helping to bring his team together also allows a method to explore the other teams through his statistics. Ward gives a strong performance, but my problems are more with perspective than performance as where where screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce turns from facts to fiction the ball gets fumbled a bit more than it should.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: The Beautiful Game
  • IMDb: link

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