475. We Are Marshall

Background info

475-we-are-marshallTitle: We Are Marshall
Director: McG
Year: 2006
Run time: 2hrs 11m

“Football is a game that knocks you down, then expects you to get back up. Life hit the West Virginia town of Huntington and its Marshall University even harder. When it did, Jack Lengyel came by to help pull them onto their feet by taking the job no one wanted: rebuilding the Marshall football program only months after a plane crash wiped out Marshall’s beloved Thundering Herd. Matthew McConaughey portrays Lengyel, the energetic, compassionate coach of inexperienced players whose chances of victory are slim and none. They’ll go with the silk. And as they do, their true-life story of heart, healing, and football will thrill and inspire you. It’s game day. Time to play till the whistle blows!”

Live blog

0:40 – Most sporty films seem to be true stories. I guess that’s because the sporting world has such a wealth of drama.
5:00 – Always love bonus McConaughey accent.
7:32 – “Usual for me tonight, just more of it. I’m starving.”
10:00 – How come the cheerleaders don’t get to take the plane?
14:23 – That big honking noise that American emergency vehicles make is much more preferable to some of the squeals that ours make.
17:47 – Never leave messages with the neighbours. Useless.
22:26 – Starting from scratch must have just been unfathomable.
27:42 – Yea! We are Marshall!
35:02 – Chequered trousers with a mustard cardigan. Seventies fashion literally brings me to tears.
41:06 – Loving McConaughey, despite the clothes.
47:17 – It’s weird hearing Matthew Fox saying Jack.
50:11 – I think I’d like to have a booth somewhere.
58:25 – Getting to hire Freshmen is such a boon, it’ll make all the difference.
1:03:21 – That running through wire training thing would trip me up massively.
1:05:52 – Coaches having to play the second team. Crikey.
1:10:59 – Proof that you just have to have the bald faced cheek to ask.
1:18:49 – Understanding the tension and that it’s not going well, but they can’t have thought they’d win their first game out.
1:34:28 – Not impressed with January Jones’s role. What’s the point of her?
1:53:24 – Touch upside down. American football is made for super slo-mo.

Conclusions

With Jerry Maguire being such an unwatchable disappointment, we moved straight on to another sports films (iTunes having put together a collection for us to work our way through). I’d not heard of this one, or the story behind it, but was tempted by the trailer and the fact that Matthew McConaughey is always a welcome addition to the Film Watch stable.

It was brilliant. Slow going, perhaps, and drawn out in places, but not so that you came to resent it. These people were going through hell and trying to pull them out the other side,  impossible to imagine.

I was disappointed by the female characters in the story, January Jones was very much a supporting role, whilst Kate Mara appeared to have an interesting journey to go through but it was swallowed up by Lovejoy’s pain instead.

But those are just niggles. It was really well done, an emotional rollercoaster, hard to watch but worth every minute.

Rating: 5/5.

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