18 September 2007 | socrates99
This little gem is too good for the IMDb; it's an easy 9, fellas
Carly Schroeder has made, with this little film, perhaps the most pure-hearted big screen debut I've ever seen. The only other movie I can think of to rival this is "Whale Rider" and Keisha Castle-Hughes performance. But I really think Carly has the edge here. It's as if she's plucked a dream out of the ether and made it palpable. It's what the great actresses do, and I'm betting this woman could easily outdo every major name out there, given the chance. She's instantly likable and she transmits emotions through her face, voice, and body like she was born to convince you of her champion heart.
This is not an easy role. It's quite physical and most women have a deep dislike for exercise and even competition. After all, women are like dune buggies; men are like Mack trucks. But the truth is soccer can be played and won with finesse and heart, though it takes a special sort. Someone who can bring a deft touch to her play just when she should be exhausted and beaten. And there's no question in my mind none of the current crop of starlets would have struggled to do half the job that Carly does here. There are very few camera tricks that only imply physicality in the direction, instead it's all there for real, in a way that completely blew me away. These people believed in this film and it's paid off big time.
No, Hollywood is not quite as astute or clever as it thinks it is, so Carly's future can't be assured. But if there were ever a promising beginning, this is it. This is one beautifully acted and directed movie that I'm very sorry I didn't see when it first came out. I've no idea why it's not rated higher here. With all the ugliness we have to contend with, you'd think these armchair critics would be forced to let a breath of fresh air in. I'm guessing they're too far gone. I, on the other hand, think Carly has created, out of an impossibly pure and quite visible heart, one of the most memorable and believable female heroines I have ever seen.