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  • English is not my first language but I will give it a try. I went to see this for free today on the premiere in Portugal, I wasn't expecting much because I saw the IMDb score, and YouTube comments saying it was propaganda, I honestly taught everybody was overreacting and went to see it with an open-mind, besides that I love Tim Roth with all my heart.

    Oh boy was I wrong, the movie is 2 hours of showing FIFA like martyrs that went against the world for football, even when they almost admit they were corrupt with was just for the greater good - football, showing that FIFA don't care about money, the only money they need is for Football, but for me the most f*cking shocking part was Tim Roth's role - Joseph Blatter.

    They show him like he was the Mahatma Gandhi of Football , if that sounds offensive it's because it is. I isn't subtle it's just plan offensive, this is as low as the propaganda movies Hitler used to convince kids joining the Nazis. On the bright side the movie lacks so much subtlety that it's almost hilarious.

    Speaking on the technical side, the sets and clothing are nice, not great but nice, everything else is terrible, terrible directing, terrible editing, generic music that sounds like it was taken from a free sound archive, disgusting color grading. It seems like they spend every dollar on the main cast, that I like but they couldn't save this movie. Nothing could.

    It's depressing to see FIFA resort to this, I don't know if using the same strategy that Hitler used will make people see them in good eyes. For me I lost the little respect I still had for organization.
  • A film about FIFA, an organisation which is renowned for corruption and skulduggery, finances a film about itself. This should get the alarm bells sounding immediately. The basic plot is simple, football commences as a global sport, FIFA creates itself to manage this new international phenomenon. FIFA is amazing. The end. This is a film about an organisation in which corruption is rife, which pays no taxes, yet has 'billions' in its bank accounts, and which forces countries which win the bidding to host the World Cup to their change laws. FIFA were even allowed to edit the script to their choosing. If you like watching propaganda, then this is the film for you. Otherwise, I suggest that it is given a wide birth.

    It's very strange that the one person here who has written a 10 star review only joined IMDb 2 weeks ago and must have done just to write a heavily biased review for this film.
  • dune_300113 March 2015
    You know all those great sports movies about the underdogs and their fight to overcome incredible odds and still win? Yeah, this movie isn't one of those. It's a movie by a sports organization full of shady people about how not shady they are. There, it's like you just watched it.

    FIFA has full reigns of this production and used it to make themselves seem like the bestest people in the world, which sounds ridiculous considering all of the scandals they are involved in. As previous reviewers have said, this smells a lot like propaganda. I guess you could enjoy it if you either 1. are a desperate fan boy/girl of anything related to football, or 2. an employee of FIFA contractually obligated to like it.

    As a final note, you know a movie is bad when the IMDb tag line sounds sarcastic.
  • If your organisation is rotten to the core, harming something billions around the world love, what do you do?

    Well, like any shady regime, you pump out propaganda. The trouble is, in this case everyone is well aware of FIFA's corruption, which makes this film not just poor cinema but unintentionally hilarious with great lines like, "Being president of Fifa will bring no glory, no money!"or, when Blatter is introduced with, ""he is apparently good at finding money" (in brown envelopes, we presume).

    Like Nicolas Cage winding up in Left Behind, it's baffling how actor of the calibre of Tim Roth, Sam Neil and Gerard Depardieu. I guess none of them are football fans.
  • Like many others, if I am honest, I decided to watch this film not with the thought of "this might be good" but rather "this might be awful". I did try as much as I could to put it to one side, but with FIFA it is really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt, and indeed, with the accusations about the ethics report (clearing them totally of any wrong-doing regarding Qatar), it is difficult to come to the film just keen to meet it on an open field with no preconceptions. It was additionally hard to put the ethics report and the many other terrible things they do out of my mind, when the film kept reminding me that really it was just yet another in a long line of spin, defiance, arrogance, and being frankly up themselves.

    It is technically well made; the crowd effects green-screen are the only obvious weak spot in the production values that are obvious, and otherwise it seems that at least those technical people have been able to make the film look and sound as it should. So if your own requirement is that the cinematography, sound, location management, and other such things are good, then this film will please you. Unfortunately this is not where most viewers will have their issues.

    Much bile has been directed at the cast for taking part, but the real blame must be laid at the writer Deflino and the writer/ director Auburtin because fundamentally the film is a mess in terms of broad narrative and specific dialogue. Perhaps they had other forces at play with their drafts, but whatever happened the film is really something to behold. Starting with the plot, there is no central driving force to the film apart from simply the passage of time. The ending of the film is Blatter getting re-elected and the 2010 world cup going to South Africa; why? Why is this the end? Indeed what was the plot? It trudges through history with little drama, little interest, and really nothing to make you watch apart from how ham-fisted so much of it is. There is really no plot here – just a series of events that occur, few of them in any way interesting. But if it were only this, perhaps it would be okay – but it is not.

    Looking at the film is regard to specific scenes or dialogue what we get is a film trying to brush away the perception of FIFA – even if it means making the film version of themselves be in stark contrast to the reality. It is clear whoever added such things knew the public accusations very well, and the film tackles them throughout – but does so in the most clumsy and obvious manner. The unrelated football match that we keep flashing to is the main thing – happy multi-cultural children playing the game for love, with a key focus on the female player. We also get Rimet quick to correct a man being racist and sexist, or Blatter tackling those within FIFA who appear to be corrupt. My personal favorite is the line said by Blatter "we should be concentrating on the women's game"; this made in rewind in disbelief that such a line would be written when really the most well-known position he has ever taken on that is that they should wear more feminine garb – particularly "tighter shorts for example". The film seems to have lots of this sort of revisionism when it comes to Blatter – even making a point of having a scene where he says hello to a cleaner by name.

    There is lots of this clumsiness in revisionist history and point scoring; the British in particular are mocked for really no narrative reason. To be fair to the film, the role of sponsorship, money, and internal politics is covered, but it is not explored so much as just mentioned, and what really sticks in the mind is what isn't covered or what appears to be being spun. The cast get paid and go home – little else can be said. Depardieu and Roth are both good actors, so for them to stand in front of a camera and say words is not bother – as such they do functional jobs, but looking at their effort it is pretty clear that this was their version of Michael Caine's Jaws IV ("I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific"). Sam Neill is wonderfully bad in it – despite playing a Brazilian, he cannot get rid of his Peaky Blinders Northern Irish accent, and as result he has bits of that coming in all the time – along with loads of other accents that don't work either. Supporting cast is roundly so-so – nobody is terrible, it is just they have nothing to do, and even the best of them cannot sell this script.

    United Passions is not as terrible as many viewers would have liked it to have been – but it is really poor nonetheless. There is really no narrative thread worth mentioning, but worse than this is the terrible attempts to rewrite even recent history, with scenes and lines of dialogue that have so clearly been dropped in for no other purpose than to pretend that the opposite is not true (which of course it is). The film's only actual purpose could be argued to be that it stands as testament to FIFA's self-indulgent arrogance – however even on that front there are so many other, better examples of this, that really even for that one does not need this dry wreck of a film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is very little to say about "United Passions" that has not been covered in other reviews. However, the biggest crime committed other than the celebration of FIFA as this above-board, honest organization thanks to Sepp Blatter (not), is that the film itself is dreadfully boring.

    Essentially, United Passions starts with the beginnings of FIFA as they must contend with racist English people (their view, not mine) in the 1920s and works its way through the decades until the end when South Africa is awarded the 2010 World Cup, something we now know to be fixed.

    Virtually every scene that is not stock footage of the World Cup games is a meeting between executives. While there might be some that find well dressed people muttering in low tones for two hours to be riveting, I was not so moved.

    Furthermore, the film makes being a FIFA president appear to be the most boring, most uninteresting job on the planet and even the fancy locations like Rio for example cannot crack a smile for anyone. Sam Neill and Tim Roth who carry most of the picture seem half-unconscious throughout.

    Even the framing device of kids playing a soccer game is dull, despite the only girl on either team (playing the goalie) who apparently cannot block a shot, suddenly takes the ball down the pitch like Pele and nails a 20 foot shot. She is carried off the pitch by players from BOTH teams and yet even that was boring.

    Even as a propaganda device, this is a horrible film. It's little wonder that it made less than $1,000 on its opening weekend in the US, a figure that is virtually impossible to obtain, yet it is somehow fitting for both FIFA and this film.
  • After reading scathing reviews in the papers on a flight to Sofia I turned on my hotel TV to find Bulgaria's national TV station BNT showing this film that very same night. Not only that they repeated it the following evening! I don't know what the people of Bulgaria ever did to deserve such punishment but clearly BNT is part of the whole FIFA corruption circus to be giving this cinematic dreck airtime. But it at least gave me the chance to see this turkey without handing over any cash. Tim Roth and Sam Neil, you've made yourselves look like cheap whores and if your careers never recover, it'll be well deserved for taking the FIFA/Blatter thirty pieces of silver. As for Depardieu, he was a joke already. An absolute stinker of a film and a suitably corrupt epitaph for Blatter and his money grabbing cronies.
  • For over a century movies have been fascinated with nefarious enterprises. The Mafia movies - which at the time seemed a long commercial bet - proved that audiences really liked to watch the internal workings of an organization, from how it generated its revenue through to how it dealt with opponents and new business rivals.

    In a sense "United Passions" is like that: not quite "Donnie Brasco", or "Godfather II" true, but the drama and excitement of making uniform rules and regulations for playing football, or the power plays at board meetings and facing down political oppression n Europe, not to say the daring of Blatter offering sponsorships deals all makes for some pretty heady cinema.

    That's not to say that its all good. It really isn't. The historical evolution of FIFA is related like a child's essay and that leads to a collective groan, much as any teacher faced with such mediocre aspirations would do as well. The script tends to platitudes and an overbearing pomposity. A film that has a barely concealed sneer at the English is paradoxically in English. As spoken by some actors it is obvious they are not fully comfortable with its stress patterns and cadences.

    At times it teases with audience expectations as when Blatter holds a roadside rendezvous with another official and they discuss the implications of the Russian-US enmity in the late 1970s. It's scene we've all seen often enough: just as Fredo is dealt with by Michael in the boathouse, and usually presages a hit on an unsuspecting person. None, however occurs.

    The flirtation with the worst instances of the Bond movie canon lead nowhere, of course, because this is a vanity corporate movie, full of sound and bureaucratic business cant, and naturally, signifying nothing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've marked my review as "contains spoiler", because when I mention that FIFA people use "good morning" greeting formula when they meet in the morning, I've just revealed the 50% of the story.

    A summary which tells that "FIFA often gets into financial trouble" and "they organize world cups" or "good morning", is not only a spoiler, but a word-by-word transcript of the film. We don't get any details about the financial troubles, they just say "we have serious financial troubles" with sad or angry tone. And they don't tire us what happened then. They even don't bore us with outlining the efforts of organizing a world cup. There're no detailed dialogs, no detailed intentions, no detailed actions. Men are sitting around a table and talking summary-language, avoiding details or any factual data. No numbers were harmed, not even used during the making of the film, with the exception of the capacity of the Uruguay stadium (200k) and period of world cups (4y). No action, no drama. The most surprising twists in the story are results of the voting about FIFA president, and the location of the next world cup. Behind a long table. Men sitting. Talking summary-language. No data.

    There are a few soccer scenes in the film, mostly some short flash-ups from actual world cup finals.

    Also, the film is quite mannered. Scene: FIFA managers traveling with boat to America. The photographer is preparing to take a shot of them, meanwhile shouting: "Don' forget, this is a historical moment!"

    If I would tell the story to one of my friend, I'd be in trouble, because there is no storyline, there's nothing. FIFA has nothing to tell. FIFA has lot to conceal.
  • Why on earth was this film ever made? Who did they think would care? Apparently 90% of the budget was supplied by FIFA, which just leaves me wondering who the hell put up the other 10%.

    By turns hilarious and nauseating, this shining great turd of a self-congratulatory vanity project is so ridiculous that if someone had told me it was a parody, I would have believed them. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to hurt members of your own family just to give you an excuse to stop watching.

    It tells the 'story' of those unsung heroes of the world, FOOTBALL FAT CATS. Who, apparently, are all saints. Why? Just because. Don't argue. And they're ENTITLED to luxury goddammit, because they're making dreams come true. It just so happens that the dreams are their own, and those dreams consist of drinking champagne and private jets and staying in luxury hotels - yes, in a multi-million dollar movie starring famous and respected actors, this film literally has the cheek to include not one, but many lines of dialogue attempting to justify football officials indulging themselves.

    Sepp Blatter, cast as a sort of modern day crusader (presumably by himself, I can't imagine why anyone else would have), played by Tim Roth, is given close-ups and swelling emotional incidental music as if he is some kind of hero, but nobody, least of all the filmmakers, seems to have any idea why.

    It's honestly like a propaganda film biography of el presidente designed to encourage the cult of personality in some tinpot banana republic. ('Look, he pays the wages out of his own pocket when all others around him are corrupt! He is such a man of the people that he knows the cleaning lady's name!')

    It ends up just being bizarre, and you feel sorry for pretty much everyone involved with it. Also, weirdly, this film portrays all English people as racist, sexist, stuck-up tossers. Why? Is it coz they wouldn't join FIFA's gentleman's club 100 years ago? Seems a little petty.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    • This is one of the greatest pieces of fiction ever written.

    • I'm guessing one of the writers was Septic Bladder.

    • All the 'bad' people have accents from Britain & Ireland... Which I imagine is a coincidence.

    • I discovered that the English were horrendous people.

    • The acting is faultless, absolutely brilliant!

    • Jamming some tenuous bit about women, in the most contrived, patronising way at the end, was genius! FLAWLESS DIRECTING! (I mean the English already had a women's football league in 1914... But whatever, we're disgusting racists.)

    • They keep calling Sepp Blatter, Sepp Bladder. Which is an unexpected bonus.

    • The timing of this film is brilliant!

    • I mean, if you hate the English and everything The FA stands for, this is your film.

    • I'd recommend it to everyone.

    • One of the best pieces of satire I've ever seen.

    It is satire, right? It's not intended to be taken seriously, is it...?
  • thesecondplanetvenus18 September 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'll just warn spoilers just in case, but you hopefully won't need it because you won't watch the "film". In 2011, a Chinese film called 1911 was released, and failed because it was merely propaganda disguised as a film. I thought that after that the world agreed to never attempt this again. But United Passions proved me wrong. It paints FIFA as saints, which is ironic if you're aware of how corrupt FIFA is. They act as if they do everything for the love of the game, and not caring about money. The script is also poorly written. As a final note, I hope Tim Roth doesn't have to waste his talents for the sake of a paycheck ever again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hello, Billy Mays here! Are you involved in a corruption scandal so massive you do need to clean your image? Is your Asociation known for meddling in foreign affairs for monetary gain? You only need an oxy movie! For the low price of 30 million dollars and your dignity you can make a cinematic equivalent of a fairy tale! Some special ingredients: 1. Boring cinematography and photography 2. Football erases both world wars out of history! 3. Dialog so empty and vain the devil considers it a sin 4. Acting so bad you would think they hired the first guys they found 5. Scenography completely wasted!

    Seriously though... this movie is boring to tears and it is so autocongratulatory it comes more as a vanity project. Do not watch this. At all.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    This film is a metaphor for everything wrong with FIFA. It's the equivalent of 'The Tales Of King's Landing' brought to you by Joffrey. It's so awful for so many reasons. At least we know Tim Roth & Sam Neil have no morals & will grab for the coin no matter what.

    "Hay! Tim! Sam! It's 1937, fancy being in this German propaganda film?.....It pays well."

    Look! I'm Scottish, so like most of the world I was raised on football. I love the game & like the majority of football fans I'm club (Hibs) before country. However, FIFA is the world governing body so we're all under its wing & to be fair, in terms of the actual game itself, in my opinion, they've done an OK job & not fiddled with the logistics too much. Nevertheless their off-field antics are notoriously corrupt & if someone made an honest film depicting the organisation, that would actually be fascinating as opposed to this leaking bucket of visual sugared-puss.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Where do I even begin with this movie? I guess I'll start with the cinematography. The camera remains in focus for most of the time and I'd say the authenticity of the players in the on set shots seemed convincing enough. Everything else was complete tripe.

    Let's just forget for a second that FIFA as an organization have numerous times over the course of their history proved to be heavily corrupted and excessively money greedy and their portrayal as saints is essentially down to the fact that FIFA funded this movie. Let's forget all the controversy and allegations Mr Blatter faced for match fixing, bribery and inappropriate conduct for a second and take this movie at face value.

    This movie is a boring drawn out muddled up tale about how everyone who likes FIFA is god himself and everyone who doesn't is a racist, misogynist. No really, even the subtly in the antagonists cant be found a single bit.That man that Rimet's daughter was talking to a good 20 minutes into the movie only had one scene and in that scene of course it is revealed that he can't fathom the "Negroes" playing the sport because he LITERALLY STATES THEY ARE TOO STUPID. WAY TO GO FOR SUBTLETY GUYS. Not to mention how the only real crutch in the entire movie are the people against FIFA, who I assume we're supposed to see as bad people, but in all seriousness, they voice a lot of opinions us the football loving general public share. Wilcox questions Blatter numerous times about money laundering and why Blatter felt the need to protect such corrupt officials. ARE WE MEANT TO HATE WILCOX FOR UPSETTING OUR 'PRECIOUS BLATTER? If anything I begin to sympathize with Wilcox much more than any other 'protagonist' in this confusing story.

    And if you think these harsh opinions were shared only by myself this film holds the record for the worst grossing film in US history on it's opening night, making a measly 980 dollars and overall losing the production company 26 million dollars. Even the man who played Blatter went online to apologize for his role as the infamous chairman. When you have actors literally going out of their own way to apologize for the disgrace of a movie they took part in, you know you've messed up.

    All in all this movie was doomed to fail from the start. A pointless 2 hour dare I say "movie" surrounding the creation and formation of FIFA doesn't even sound like a bad idea, but when the organization itself is funding this project, there's only one real direction it's gonna be heading in. Dry and stale acting and a script stuffed with ranting like dialogue made this movie experience for me and for many others. Shameful propaganda.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've seen all sorts of terrible stuff in my lifetime. Gross-out comedies without the comedy, sickeningly cliché romantic movies, and unintentionally hilarious flops. But this tops them all. This is not only bad, it's fury-inducing.

    If your like me, you probably want to watch it because you know it's bad and are hoping to get some laughs out of it. Go watch Flash Gordon instead, because while there are some of those funny moments in here, there is also plenty of bad where there is no comedic value.

    They make the people who run FIFA seem like heroes. I'll give you one example of a hilarious scene where the FIFA president and his daughter give a speech towards the most cliché pompous and prejudiced British guy. By the way, every single British person in this acts like a Bond villain. Even Sepp Blatter, whose known for rigging votes and for saying women should wear tighter uniforms, stands against corruption and sexism in this film!

    Maybe I would believe this film's message if any of the actors cared. Okay, I wouldn't, but I have to point out how bad their performances are. They even hired a Irish actor who made no attempt to hide his accent to play a Brazilian! The script is the worst one ever written, none of the scenes are connected. In one scene, FIFA is about to go bankrupt, and in the next, they're meeting in a nice hotel and have no financial woes. Even the infamous "Uruguay vs. Brazil" game seems absolutely meaningless in this. You think they'd want to really show the 'struggles' of FIFA, but they just rush through everything.

  • UkrainianHeiress5 November 2017
    This film is kind of boring for women but, interestingly, actor Anthony Higgins does a nice cameo near the beginning of it, (looking like Verdi did near the end of his life-- great makeup and costuming on him; loved the top hat.). His character's purpose seems to show the beginning of passionate enthusiasm in fans (that, one hundred years later, would turn to mass hysteria). However, many soccer fans say the facts in the film are messed up.
  • There are several other people out there calling it a masterpiece. It's not. Many other sports films like Creed and Rocky Balboa are examples of masterpieces.

    Something's very wrong here.

    Don't fall into the bait people. This movie is terrible. Positive reviews are from fake profiles. This movie is an utter pile of lies from a fraudulent French company which does not look into history and even they're lacking total lore in United Passions. This doesn't even deserve to win a single Oscar award. Why would it win any? Such a stupid idea one reviewer on this movie on Metacritic said. Poor quality of the drama and the script looks like it was written by an unprofessional script writer.

    Plotholes, yes they are there. Watch out

    Unnecessary blushed romance? What? Really?

    As a fan of football, I can surely tell that I am so disappointed with this work. Do not be swayed by positive criticism. They are just leading you to a dangerous end. Just a box office bomb just for the laughs United Passions: A Football Story of Lies, Unread History and Lore. I can tell you now that it SUCKS. Ignore the spammers of the love button.
  • Before watching the title, I heard the many bad critic. I prepared for the worst: for a boring FIFA-propaganda. Fortunately it's not completely true.

    I saw it in a little cinema in East-Hungary in the evening, I was the only one in the house, so no one disturbed me.

    The first 45 minutes was pretty good, although it's maybe the lurdiest part of the film: it presents the first years and fights of FIFA, including the organizations of World Cups. After that there is only the justification of Havelange's and mainly Blatter's work: he is the good guy who saved the group and brought the soccer to all part of world. During its presentation i got fed up with the movie.

    Despite of the failures and weaknesses it might deserve a better rating than 3 stars. The reason of the low rating is obviously is the hatred what a lot of soccer fans feel toward FIFA, toward this corrupt criminal group. I do not reckon it as a very bad movie, but I like its falling. I only feel sorry for the actors who played well.

    By the way, I didn't get answer, why the 2022 WC will be held in Quatar...
  • Prismark1019 December 2018
    United Passions is a glorified corporate pat on the back made by FIFA that masquerades as a movie.

    It has attracted stars such as Gerard Depardieu and Tim Roth.

    The story is thin as it traces the rise of FIFA from characters such as Carl Hirschmann and Robert Guérin who were involved in its creation. The idea laughed out by the snooty British who had a more colonial and chauvinistic attitude to football.

    Under Jules Rimet (Gerard Dépardieu) the third president of FIFA, the notion was put forward for holding the World Cup tournament, first held in Uruguay. The decision to hold in Italy under fascist Mussolini attracted critics.

    João Havelange (Sam Neill) cultivated supported from Africa and Asia, attracted corporate sponsorship and boosted FIFA's coffers. Treating FIFA as his own personal fiefdom with constant allegations of and financial corruption under his watch.

    Sepp Blatter (Tim Roth) is the embattled successor of Havelange. Determined to broaden football to a truly global sport played in all continents and by allsexes and ages. The final scene is South Africa being chosen to hold the 2010 World Cup.

    Of course by the time the film was released, Blatter and other FIFA bigwigs had faced arrest for bribery and money laundering. Decades if financial corruption had come home to roost and there was nothing this film could do to whitewash it.

    The film is technically well made but it is all rather pointless. Some British film critics were hard on the movie, the Brits who claim to have invented football appear as caricatures and FIFA did has not selected England as a World Cup venue since 1966.

    Stanley Rous the British head of FIFA who preceded Havelange was lightly dealt with in my opinion. His regime bent over backwards trying to include apartheid South Africa in FIFA and in the World Cup. You can see how Havelange easily played him by courting black Africa.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film starts out in 1904 as Europe organizes FIFA. The English smugly refuse to join "the Frogs." The movie then jumps to 1924. In a need to create a World Cup it sells itself to Uruguay. Indeed the films jumps rather quickly as it shows us 106 years of history in 100 minutes. Characters are created to die. The only aging makeup was the graying of hair. FIFA appears to be in a constant state of "broke." It has lofty apolitical origins, yet becomes very political and in the end pretends to be the body for world peace. Being broke forced FIFA into the realm of corporate sponsors, who are subject to boycotts, who are swayed by world politics.

    When watching the film, it is best if one knows the world political theater of the last century as it plays an important background, but there is an assumption the viewer is well informed. The film features a quick symbolic subplot of kids playing football on a third world lot. As the game evolves so does the play on the field. I believe Pele was mentioned about three times. The movie includes some historical footage, but not much.

    Parental Guide: No F-bombs, sex, or nudity.
  • the film contains boring script,bad direction,bad screenplay no proper story this movie is only propaganda movie by A FIFA about the history of the FIFA. This film is a metaphor for everything wrong with FIFA. It paints FIFA administrators as saints, which is ironic if you're aware of how corrupt FIFA is. They act as if they do everything for the love of the game, and not caring about money. The script is terrible, with nothing else but propaganda throughout the movie. FIFA were even allowed to edit the script to their choosing. If you like watching propaganda, then this is the film for you. Otherwise, distance yourself from the movie!

    but if you are serious FIFA fan and interested in knowing history of FIFA then you can watch the movie for sake of general knowledge. the first 20 minutes of Gérard Depardieu play is good and interesting because of neat historic Reconstruction
  • In this fact-based movie, a hundred years in the history of football are shown. If you are American as I am, the game is not football, but soccer. Regardless, it is simpler for me to refer to the game as football since that is the term used most of the time.

    In 1902, there is no organized football competition between countries. England has organized competition but will not play teams in other countries. Carl wants to change that. he goes to a football game where the man in charge is yelling at people who do things wrong. Talking to him might not be a good idea, but Carl does talk with another man.

    In another scene, a group of men are sitting at a table and FIFA is born.

    In 1924, Uruguay wins the Olympic medal in football. Jules Rimet shows up at a meeting to downplay their efforts because Uruguay did not in fact play everyone to get the title, and many of their players were not from there. Rimet soon becomes president of FIFA. And as part of Uruguay's centennial, a real world championship game is proposed, in a new stadium which will seat 100,000 in Montevideo. That game is played in 1930; we see what looks like actual footage along with headlines and footage of newspapers being printed. It's not a lot, but it does represent what happened. The so-called World Cup will be played every four years.

    Rimet's daughter Annette is talking to a man at an event. He says Africans can't play football; they're too stupid. Why, for Negroes to play football would be like women playing football! Annette wants to protest but Rimet doesn't defend his daughter. Annette later stands up to people who are arguing and shows she has a mind of her own.

    World War II and the events preceding it have a negative effect on competition. In fact, there is one game, which we see a few scenes from (made for the movie, because the film quality is better than in 1930), between Germany and Ukrainian prisoners. Germany will win ... or else. The referees have been paid off. Yet the Ukrainians are very determined ...

    After the war life is normal again. We go to a major stadium and there is lots of excitement. We see fans in several locations. Based on the credits and what is possible nowadays, I don't think there were real people in that stadium, or at least actors in this movie were superimposed on actual footage. The game looks like real footage because the film quality is inferior. The first goal is scored and everyone goes crazy. Even the announcer. I don't think he's THAT guy but he does yell, "GOOOOOOOOOAL!" As professional as the announcer is, he is very biased, showing no emotion as the other team scores. There is disappointment in the other locations. And when the game is over, it's like a disaster just happened. The movie's whole tone changes.

    We have watched Rimet age many years, and then we see his funeral. Annette does an admirable job with the eulogy.

    We fast forward a few more years as a new president of FIFA is elected. The losing candidate is convinced Africans can't play. The winner is a strong supporter of including African teams.

    Another game. More excitement. Again, film quality is inferior, so we must be seeing real footage. Someone named Pele appears to be the first superstar in the sport.

    By this time the movie is about half over, but it's not quite as exciting any more. We do see another game and plenty of excitement in the scenes associated with the game. Mostly, though, the rest of the movie is about controversy. FIFA is running out of money but one solution is to sell merchandise related to football. World events interfere as tensions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. make boycotts of the Olympics possible. FIFA must take a stand on Apartheid. Women's teams must be considered. And fans who can't behave themselves are a real problem.

    Then there are scandals for which a man who is not even president of FIFA is being blamed. Then he takes over as president and ... well, what WILL he do?

    The movie ends about a hundred years after it started, and football has become very popular. We see kids playing, even girls.

    I won't call it an Oscar-winning effort but at least the first half is very good for what it is. Sure, it skips over a lot of years, but apparently the most important details are included. And that one game in the 50s shows a wide range of emotion, and really communicates passion for the sport.

    The leading actors are shown in the credits but I have to say I didn't recognize any of them. That makes the movie work better because I am seeing the characters, not the actors. I think most of them did a good enough job.

    Gerard Depardieu does a good job but I wouldn't exactly say he shows the talent to win an Oscar.

    Other than that, no one really stood out, and while we are shown a lot of information after Rimet's tenure, there is educational value (I suppose) but not that much entertainment value.
  • This film doesn't deserve a full review. Though not as bad as many are saying, this is not good by any means. I give it a four, but a 3.5 might be closer. The first half is a lot of sentimental fluff which tries to make a mediocre script passable. Most of the accents are almost impossible to understand, the rest are just fake. I think it would have gotten more attention if all of the dialog were in whatever language they truly were spoken in and subtitled everything. The second half is strait-up propaganda extolling the virtue of Sepp Blatter. Seeing as he pretty much payed for this, I can't fault him for trying. I also understand why it made only $600 at theaters. Believe what you will. I just kept rolling my eyes.
  • A FIFA financed movie about the history of the FIFA. It is at least quite unusual to have a sports movie that is not about sportsmen but about sports administrators (Moneyball is the only one that comes to my mind). Tim Roth plays FIFA president Sepp Blatter as a honest, efficient if tough administrator (you really need to have a very huge ego to finance a movie where you are the hero, though, as one friend told me, at least Blatter had the sense not to hire Brad Pitt to play himself). The production values are fine, which is to be expected given the reported budget of almost 30 million dollars. Not a great film obviously, but not as bad as expected. It is quite entertaining if naturally very one sided. With Gerard Depardieu (in an enjoyable performance) and Sam Reilly as former FIFA presidents Jules Rimet and Joao Havelange and Thomas Kretschmann as Horst Dassler, head of sports apparel giant Adidas. Amusingly, the movie has a quite crude anti– English tone: every English character in the movie looks bad (England and the other British sides initially refused to join FIFA, seeing it as an upstart organization).
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