I re-watched Invictus earlier in the month and I enjoy it a lot even though I’m not a huge rugby fan. This then led me thinking about the sports related films I very much love, no matter what the sport if the characters are interesting and the story can pull you in I enjoy it.
I rewatched this after seeing Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom as it ends at just the perfect place to then watch Invictus, it’s like continuing with South Africa’s history. Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Morgan Freeman is wonderful as Mandela but one of my favourite parts is with his body guards who are both black and white and watching how they go from being hostile towards eachother to working together and even playing rugby together.
This British film is about the clash between street smart runner Shania Andrews (Lenora Crichlow) and wealthy young athlete Lisa Temple (Lily James) and how they must come together to compete in the relay for Great Britain. Like any sports film really (let’s be honest) it is a great, feel-good film. It has a great cast, is funny and has a brilliant soundtrack too. I remember where I first watched Fast Girls; I was on a plane to New York and ended up bouncing in my seat with excitement through the final act.
I’ve grown up watching Cool Runnings whenever it was on TV. It’s a super funny film about the first Jamaican bob-sled team. It has one of my favourite motivational scenes in it “I see pride! I see power!” and it’s generally just a fun, great movie.
I love this film a lot even though I know next to nothing about F1. The relationship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is portrayed brilliantly by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl. The racing scenes are interesting and pull you in (even though it’s just cars going around a track) and there’s the perfect balance between tension and emotion throughout the film.
This may be a film about MMA but what it’s really about is family. I couldn’t decide who I was cheering for – Brendan (Joel Edgerton) or Tommy (Tom Hardy) – as they both deserved and wanted to win so much. I may have been a little choked up at the end.
The Blind Side
This is also a film more about family than a sport, but this time it’s the family you choose. I love the relationships between all the different members of the family and this is another one that left me with tears in my eyes.
Escape to Victory
Allied Prisoners of War against the German’s in a football match – what could possibly go wrong? I just love watching Pelé, Bobby Moore, Mike Summerbee and all of the other great footballer’s of the seventies and eighties playing football with Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone.
Remember the Titans
I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a film starring Denzel Washington and Remember the Titans is definitely one of my favourites. It’s the true story of a newly appointed African-American coach (Denzel Washington) and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit. This is a wonderful snapshot of history as well as having some great American football matches that pulls you in.
Bend it Like Beckham
This is British humour at its best. Jess has to try and balance her parents’ wishes and her desire to play football. Again, this is another film more about family than football but it’s also got some great friendships and comedy too.
I never used to like tennis, I found it boring and annoying especially when Wimbledon came around and my mum had it on all day every day. Nowadays I love it and always find myself cheering on the underdog (unless they’re against Nadal and then I’m cheering for him) and Wimbledon (the film) is all about cheering for the underdog. Plus it’s got John McEnroe as himself which is fantastic.