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Feature Review - A Season with Sue

By midlandsmovies, Aug 9 2015 01:29PM

A Season with Sue (2015) Dir. Thomas Wilson


Filmmaker Thomas Wilson releases this new local documentary, Season with Sue, which covers the second campaign for Suecastle Football Club from Leicester and the ups and down of the amateur football leagues.


Under the tutelage of player/manager Adam O’Shea, the film begins with the traditional coach woes of injury-prone players who are out of action with body damage even before their competitive matches begin. The low-key coverage shows as much car park smoking as it does of side-line action but the fever of these local heroes shine through.


Chasing promotion from Division Five of the Alliance Football League, the team struggles through a range of issues whilst the filmmaker chooses interesting coverage of deserted practice grounds, off-pitch chats and fantasy football banter to flesh out the picture of sporting social life in the Midlands.


With limited voice-over, the players’ positivity help their “winning ways” and the 30 minutes documentary is a world away from Premiership excess but all the better for it showing the passion and friendship amongst the enthusiastic team mates. The cheeky chat that punctuates the football action amuses and entertains whilst the agony piles on as the injuries pile up.


With an almost rustic view of the action, the pitches are sometimes framed by housing estates or pylons showing the metaphorical (and actual) grass roots of the team. Shots of lonely corner flags are contrasted with the inspirational team talks giving the audience a unique view of these Sunday successes.


A great selection of footage covers all aspects of their season broken up by a simple 4-part structure but it could have done with a few more talking heads, interviews or player’s personal stories to expose the journey of a few individuals as well as the team.


That small flaw aside, the film’s colourful language, “get stuck in, they’ll shit it”, adds to the brilliant portrayal of a group of football loving lads


Slightly overgrown pitches put up as much of a fight as the opposition as the hardworking guys find themselves battling referees, questionable decisions and but never each other – even in the face of dirty tackles and reckless challenges.


Not even their local pub is unaffected, shutting down before their season ends but the group run their awards ceremony at home with spirited team-bonding sing-a-longs. Ending with a quality top 3 finish (after another team disband) the documentary is less fly on the wall and more of a warts and all portrait of football fans and friends making the most of every moment and coming through it all stronger and closer.


A fantastic football film


7/10


You can now watch the entire documentary online at Vimeo right here: https://vimeo.com/135612082


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