"surprisingly touching, relationship based film"
by James Bretton on 19/04/09

Everyone has heard of Brian "I wouldn't say I was the best...but I'm in the top 1" Clough, football manager extraordinaire, king of the pitch when Leeds United were top, and Manchester United were nobodies.

I have a confession to make: I may be a man, but I do not care about football. I don't know much about it, and I can't understand why Beckham et al are seen as demi-gods. I tell you this only as a precursor to my opinion - here I was, not liking football, and about to go into a film about...football.

I'm going to be honest; I didn't want to go, and I didn't want to like it. Like it I did though - this is no sports pic, it's a tender and touching account of the relationship between two men in high pressured jobs.

Peter Taylor is his name - the man who stood in the shadows, gave Clough the limelight, but ultimately built the big man into who he was. Played exquisitely by Timothy Spall, who brought the requisite weariness to the physicality. It would also be impossible to go on without mentioning Michael Sheen, who is fast becoming the only choice for real life character portrayals. Reason being he's so darn good at it.

The film jumped about in time, backwards and forwards, creating questions, then answering them. This gave a nice pace, but also a great anticipation. This is a tactic that was taken straight from the book (I am reliably informed by football fans, who have actually READ the book).
The film looked stylish; a retro feel with classic camera work. It also entertained those in the cinema, who could have been at home watching "Match of the Day," for free.

All in all, a great evening out. Even if you don't love the beautiful game.

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