October 7, 2009

Do-Ho Meets Soccer Legend Brian Clough (Michael Sheen)

I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the Top One.
Ordinarily we like to review donut shops here, not movies. But what with Do-Ho's recent foray into the world of soccer, we decided that a movie about soccer (in British English, "a film about football") was an acceptable topic to include.

The Damned United is a "fictionalization" of Brian Clough's career as a soccer manager. Who is Brian Clough? Apparently, a cultural icon in England who was also arrogant, opinionated, and said truly outrageous things, such as the quote above. He is played in the movie by actor Michael Sheen, who is famous for his portrayals of Tony Blair in three different movies (The Deal, The Queen, and The Special Relationship), and as David Frost in the Broadway and Hollywood versions of Frost/Nixon.

Sheen's first memories of Clough were as "the guy that my dad used to shout at on the TV" when he was young. Clough was a soccer player whose career was cut short due to injury, and who felt like he was then "thrown on the scrapheap" by the world of professional soccer according to Sheen, speaking at a Los Angeles premiere of the movie. After having to settle for a second career as a soccer manager, Clough liked nothing better than to show the players that he was better than them. The Damned United is a tale of rivalry between him and another manager Don Revie, as well as a story of male friendship between Clough and his co-manager Peter Taylor.

Actor Sheen is no stranger to soccer himself, having made the cut by the team Arsenal when he was a youngster. However being from a small town in Wales, uprooting the family and moving to London was not in the cards, and Sheen went on to attend drama school.

Do-Ho recommends The Damned United to anyone who is a soccer fan or a Michael Sheen fan (Do-Ho would consider herself both, in recent years) but offers some words of caution: The accents can be difficult to understand at times, and if watching at a movie theater in America, be prepared for whispers of, "What did he say?" "I don't know". Also there are some difficult sporting terms, like "fifty-fifty", which Michael Sheen explained but is much too complicated to recapture here. This movie would have a far better chance of being a blockbuster if they remade it but changed the sport to football of the American variety...or maybe NASCAR. We would still vote for Michael Sheen in the leading role, however. We love you Michael--thanks for the photo!

And if you're wondering about Team Do-Ho's standings in the Fantasy Football League?
We wouldn't say Do-Ho is the best manager in the business. But she's in the Top Nine.


Nigel Clough said...

"Who is Brian Clough?" - Dear Lord. (well, Cloughie would say so anyway, closely followed by his trademark "young man")... legend, absolute legend...

Now about the re-casting of the sport for the US version of the movie... never mind NASCAR, could we not base it around more cultured pastimes, such as Foxy Boxing or Mud Wrestling?

Anonymous said...