trailer break: ‘The Damned United’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

I don’t know much about football — the sport the rest of the world calls football, I mean, not what we Americans call football — and what I do know thrills me not one teeny bit. But I do know that Michael Sheen is a riveting screen presence, and that makes me want to see this film. It’s unlikely to play in the U.S., because football is barely on the radar here. Guess I’ll buy a Region 2 DVD eventually.

Oh, and screenwriter Peter Morgan makes me want to see this, too: The Queen and Frost/Nixon are perfectly written movies.

It’s interesting to note that Sheen stars in both those movies, too, and in all three of these films, he plays real people. I wonder if he’ll ever get the chance at a prominent role that’s entirely his own invention…

The Damned United opens in the U.K. on March 27; no U.S. release date has been announced.

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Thu, Mar 26, 2009 12:21pm

I’m looking forward to seeing this, even though I couldn’t give a fig about football.

Michael Sheen is an amazing actor. I don’t think there’s anyone on this planet now that he couldn’t do a credible portrayal of. He just melts into whomever he’s playing. His Kenneth Williams in Fantabulosa was incredible.

Fri, Mar 27, 2009 7:10am

I’m not really into football either – but living in Nottingham for years means an appreciation for old ‘Bighead’ – Nottingham and Derby both remember him fondly for the wonderful things he did with their football clubs (before Sheffield for Derby, afterwards for Nott Forest). The main road linking the two cities is renamed Brian Clough Way!

The book the film’s based on apparently wasn’t very well received by Clough’s family, but by all accounts the film is much more complimentary about Clough. I’m tempted to go and see it.

Certainly, Sheen’s done an amazing job of recreating all the mannerisms, and the voice (was watching a documentary on Clough, it’s uncanny).

Fri, Mar 27, 2009 7:55pm

The book is actually very dark…

I listened to Sheen talk about the character.. He said he saw footage of Clough at an awards ceremony. How he (Clough) was unaware the camera was on him as he sat in the audience, while they played a clip of him (as a player) recieving the injury that ended his career.. Sheen said he saw real vulnerability and pain on his face, then as they introduced him and he realised people were watching, the facade came back and he became the Clough we all remember.
Just listening to the interview I realised how much Sheen devotes to studying the role he’s to play… For weeks he basically immerses himself in footage before he even tries the voice.