Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Damned United

By some means, Tom Hooper has been a somewhat controversial name in Hollywood. Not because his films focus on discussion-worthy topics but rather his abilities as a director come into question whenever he has a film released.

The two films that earned Hooper awards attention -- The King's Speech and Les Miserables -- are also what brought said controversy. But none of this got attached to any of his earlier works. (Okay, with maybe the exception of some episodes of John Adams.) One such early work is The Damned United, and thank God it hasn't been affected.

Thanks to the script by Peter Morgan, The Damned United is a fascinating film to watch. (And this is coming from someone who's not that big on sports.) Sure, some elements were added for the sake of drama but when has a film based on real events been 100% truthful?

Starring in The Damned United is Michael Sheen, an actor who doesn't get the right amount of recognition he deserves. Here, Sheen continues to prove he's a very viable actor. (Though anyone who's seen Frost/Nixon, another excellent Morgan-scripted film, would know that already.) His depiction of Brian Clough is of a man who's impulsive and demanding but very much a human being.

The Damned United is easily Hooper's best film. (Something that no one should be surprised by if they've seen it themselves.) Along with Morgan's script and Sheen's performance, the cinematography by Ben Smithard is stunning. (Much better framed than Danny Cohen's work for Les Miserables.) Seriously, be sure to see it.

My Rating: *****


  1. I still need to see this. Love Michael Sheen, but I didn't realize this was by Tom Hooper. Well I like King's Speech so I probably will enjoy this one.


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