This time on Required Viewing, neither Brooke nor Annemarie have seen our picture. The selection, A Shot At Glory, comes courtesy of AM’s husband-friend and Brooke’s friend-friend, Justin. Indeed, this movie about a wayward footballer and the deep socio-political divides that dictate rivalries in Scotland might be the manliest selection we’ve yet had.
B: That’s not wrong. I had no idea this picture existed, but we trust Justin’s taste, and I, at least, was totally on board when I learned that A Shot At Glory involves Robert Duvall putting on a Scottish accent. To my inexpert American ears, it sounded quite good, but it never looked quite right.
Anywho, I think my favorite thing about having Justin pick is that he doesn’t take the same joy either of us do in saying “I don’t know anything about this movie/show.” Instead, he gives us the fun little details as context for our viewing experience. And I must say, knowing that the star of this movie was an actual football star was my favorite thing about A Shot At Glory. I don’t know if Ally McCoist, who stars as the talented but embattled Jackie McQuillan, did any further acting after this film, but he had quite a good style. He seemed very natural in what he was doing, not like so many WWE stars who try to make the change and come off all cheese and schlock. Or maybe it was just that he had a cool accent and I was blinded.
What say you, AM?
A: Scottish accents, even when they’re faked by Robert Duvall, ensure that any actor, actress or footballer immediately sounds 45% cooler. Duvall’s was definitely of the Hollywood variety, but I concur, to my untrained ear they sounded pretty good.
I also had no idea this rivalry existed. It seems like many other Catholic vs Protestant conflicts that stem back several hundred years, and it makes perfect sense that the football teams would be the perfect backdrop to “safely” let this rivalry and hatred play out. When it inevitably extends into the real world, that’s where the real violence comes in, and that’s when things get truly scary.
But this isn’t a scary film, it’s about sportsball. Brooke, what say you to the sports being played in this film? With Justin’s coaching, did you feel like you understood what this is all about?
B: I may not be particularly literate in this form of sportsball, but I’m pretty damn film literate, so I was able to ascertain some of the writing on the wall myself, and then fill in the blanks quite easily with Justin’s guidance. That said, there were quite a lot of subtleties in this picture that caught me rather off-guard. For instance, we see Jackie having an affair, but we don’t get a lot on the how or why. We know that Robert Duvall is estranged from his daughter, but this rift is more hinted at than overtly established. I like being trusted to figure things out, but I also like hot goss, so I can’t help but wonder what this picture would have looked like with some of those elements laid on a little more aggressively.
Okay, since we can’t talk about dresses in this boy movie, let’s talk about the workout montage. Was this old school football conditioning regimen the inspiration for Crossfit? Okay, probably not, but it looked decidedly un-fun. Which element of the workout would you struggle with the most? Could you show up the boys at any element?
A: Their training looked pretty miserable, especially the part where they have to run around in a grain bin. I don’t understand exactly what that was supposed to accomplish, other than getting bits of grain in your shoes. And then of course, the lads were forced to run through the gorgeous Scottish countryside as “punishment” — which after that intense workout would have been rough, but beautiful.
I am not the fastest runner, but I feel relatively confident I could keep up with the guys, maybe? We’re led to believe that these guys are not the most elite athletes, so maybe I stand a chance.
I agree, I like more overt explanations for my feuds. I think when it comes down to it, all the rivalries and strife we see between the characters comes down to the Catholic v. Protestant thing. And as we’ve mentioned, it’s perhaps difficult to parse the details of each of the football matches, but clearly, the passion that stems from this rivalry takes precedence over every other thing here. So, since we don’t want to get religion-y here at WWT, instead of asking you which side you would take, let’s discuss where you’d prefer to have your own football team, like Michael Keaton. You can pick anywhere. GO!
B: I would definitely want to have a football team located in Scotland. The scenery! The accents! The shortbread! Michael Keaton’s evil plan to move the team away from its beloved home is a necessary plot point — we need more than redemption to feel urgency for the team’s success or failure, or so the movie seems to think. But honestly, it seems like a weak business move. Bigger cities cost more money and sacrifice the built-in fanbase. Think it through, man!
Where would you place your team, AM? Any other closing thoughts for us?
A: Oh yes, Keaton is clearly misguided and dumb in this quest. You didn’t even mention authentic Scotch! That seems like it’d be a fave of his character, and ensure he’d want to stay in Scotland.
I’d have a team in Iceland. Reykjavik is sort of like a small town, and it’s a pretty awesome country. Plus, we’d do the Viking unity chant thing, which is even more awesome.
I think that’s about all I got. Sportsball movies are a rare appearance here in RV, but I did quite enjoy this one.
B: That chant is pretty rad. I see how the team would get amped up with such a ritual. Though, it must be said, the Haka still takes the crown as my favorite pre-game ritual. I might have put a team in New Zealand for this very reason, but the constant jet lag from being quite a difference from the many European teams would be something of a disadvantage, I think. But, I digress. Let’s try and work a Sportsball movie in at least once per calendar year.
We get back to familiar territory next time, with an Afternoon Tea installment that finds us weighing in on the criminally underseen Love and Friendship.
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