‘Nefta Football Club’ (2018) first soccer movie nominated for an Oscar

Nefta Football Club (2018)

Nefta Football Club stands out as being the only soccer movie to win an Oscar nomination (that I know of). Nominated in the 2020 Best Live Action Short Film category, Writer-Director Yves Piat has created a visually stunning and engaging short that leads to a whimsical but virtual punch line. 

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‘Comme des Garçons’ (2018) – changing mentality

Comme des Garçons (2018), alternative title Let the Girls Play

Comme des Garçons is the first feature film from Writer-Director Julien Hallard, and it is quite an achievement. Also known as Let the Girls Play, this soccer movie is cute, smart, and well worth watching. While it takes a number of liberties with the true story of the renaissance of women’s football in France, it does so to create a feel-good film with carefully crafted and entertaining contours.

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‘Looking for…’ fanatic football fans (2010-2015)

Post-football, Eric Cantona found a new passion and challenge: cinema. At 30 years old, he unexpectedly retired from football in 1997. Among reasons Eric has cited in retrospect: he was tired of playing the game. However, he transitioned to acting as well as beach soccer, popularizing the sport and managing the French beach soccer team for almost 15 years.

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Already outdated – ‘Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait’ (2006)

Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006)

This Zinedine Zidane documentary is not really a soccer movie but is actually a performance piece more suited for an art-house cinema or museum.

Artists and filmmakers Philippe Parreno (French-Algerian) and Douglas Gordon (Scottish) sought to create a cinematic portrait of a working man who was also the best soccer player in the world. They realized that the screen is about the same aspect ratio as a football field, and the length of a feature film is about the same as a match.

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‘United Passions’ (2014) – tyrant Sepp Blatter’s biopic

United Passions (2014)

Surprise, surprise. The FIFA Movie — otherwise known as F2014, Film 2014, A Men’s Dream, and finally, United Passions — is not bad. Yes, the movie is a conceit, and yes, FIFA shamelessly portrays English football bureaucrats as racist, sexist, and classist “English Bastards”.

To make sure we get those messages, they are repeated a few times. But can you watch it and withhold your anger towards FIFA’s epidemic  corruption?

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