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MattPage

The Damned United (2009)

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Hmm this seems to be attempting to enthuse Americans about football (as it is properly called) day.

First the penalty shoot out

Now this

Michael Sheen playing Brian Clough during his time at Leeds Utd.

I've never supported a team Clough managed, but Leeds are my team (parents reside there), and round here (halfway between Derby and Nottingham - home of his two greatest triumphs) he is a legend.

Oh and did I mention that he's being played by Michael Sheen?

Matt

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This is opening on Friday, but, for some bizarre reason given the town's geographical location relative to Clough's career, it's not playing in Loughborough. I'd not have been surprised two weeks ago, but the publicity machine behind this has really cranked it up over the last fortnight.

Oh and if there are any other lovers of traditional British sports, wouldn't you just love to see Sheen do Boycott next?

Matt

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So I know I'm just talking to myself here, but saw this this afternoon and thought it was rather good. Here's my twitter review:

"*That Damned United*-Hugely entertaining.Sheen great as Clough.Expected more on contact with players.Disliked non-linear narrative & ending."

I'd add the atmosphere was nicely captures, and Sheen managed to capture Clough really well. Not just his mannerisms but that beguiling combination of big headedness and likeability that so captured Old Big 'Ead (as Clough called himself when he got the OBE). Ending a bit poor, and the jumping about in the timescale was more of a distraction than anything else. I'd love to see a sequel though charting his meteoric achievements at Notts Forest.

Matt

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I'm going to see this, eventually....

Meanwhile, here's a link to our thread on The Red Riding Trilogy (based on novels by author David Peace, who wrote The Damned Utd), and here's our shiny new thread on David Peace himself.

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I caught this at the local film festival in October 2009 -- several months after Matt started this thread -- and I remember liking it. I happened to see it on a day that marked a certain turning point in my professional life, and as I recall, aspects of the film resonated with me on that level, though I don't remember the details all that well. But the scene where a certain character gets on his knees was particularly memorable. :)

Oh, and since we're adding links to this thread, here are a couple to our threads on other films and TV shows that Tom Hooper has directed: Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness (2003), Longford (2006), John Adams (2008) and a little thing called The King's Speech (2010).

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I was ready not to like this movie—both because David Peace seemed dissatisfied with it (I know, I know) and because I just didn’t expect much. But I really liked it. Sheen is…well, Sheen. I expect him to be fun by now. Spall, too, is fantastic. Beautifully filmed—I love Hooper’s style—and unexpectedly funny.

FWIW, I didn't find the time-jumping to be distracting--mechanical, perhaps, and a bit over-explained. I've not read the Peace novel yet, but it looks like it does something similar--on a far more intricate scale.

Incidentally, it seems like the movie tones down Peace's view of Clough. For instance:

Michael Sheen, who plays Clough in the film, says that his characterisation is "more rounded" than the version in Peace's book. "Peace's Clough is much more obviously dark," says Sheen. "That's also because it's all in the first person. I wouldn't want anyone to listen to what's going on in my head because it would seem pretty dark."

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FWIW, Starbucks will be giving away a free digital copy of the book in the near future. But only in Britain, it looks like.

Edited by NBooth

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