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Review of “Leatherheads” (2008) PG-13 114min

April 4th, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 3,297 Views

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Universal Pictures’ “Leatherheads” (2008) posterGeorge Clooney, fresh from directing “Michael Clayton”, delivers another great movie – this time a romantic sports comedy.

The plot: 1925. Jimmy “Dodge” Connolly (George Clooney) is a charming, middle-aged [American] football player for Bulldogs in the struggling 1925 football league, who wants to bring his team into the world of professional football – the world of packed stadiums. Determination he has got, but after his team loses a game they also lose a sponsor, so now they haven’t got the money and the entire league is on the edge of collapse. But Dodge makes a bold move – he finds another financeer, CC Frazier (Jonathan Pryce), and convinces a college football star Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), who is also a celebrity WWI hero legendary for making a platoon of German soldiers to surrender, to join his professional team, hoping that his presence will revive the national interest in football. Following them on the tour is Chicago Tribune journalist Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger), who suspects that Rutherford’s war legend and stardom is too good to be true. While she investigates, Dodge and Carter become rivals for her attention. As Dodge’s dream of making football big becomes true, the game also becomes a cash cow, and government steps in to regulate it. The game of professional football is not the one Dodge knew – it used to be a game without any rules. Both rival players want to win Lixie’s heart by the end of the game.

John Krasinski , Jonathan Pryce , George Clooney and Renee Zellweger in Universal Pictures' LeatherheadsThe good: I really enjoyed this movie. Nice story, dialogs, great actors and acting, very nice costumes and sets. Spirited comedy that’s quite pleasant and funny in all aspects – sport, comedy and romance. All of this was set to a tap-dance musical score by Randy Newman – the music is absolutely awesome and deserves an Oscar right now! Nice jokes and gags throughout the movie. Did I mentioned costumes? The movie has a good rhithm, never too slow and never too fast – just perfect. Plot is easy to understand and it’s not your typical sports movie plot. Nice cinematography and light by Newton Thomas Sigel. The football team was a joy to watch.

The bad: The story is not realistic – everything is designed to be a genre comedy film. Well, I had to think for a while to come up with this. “Leatherheads” don’t shave much bad to point out.

The summary: A very enjoyable film. Stay for the final credits to see what happened to the main characters. I don’t know if I will remember this movie in 10 years, but I enjoyed every minute of it, and will see it again on DVD.

The cast: Jimmy ‘Dodge’ Connelly – George Clooney | Lexie Littleton – Renee Zellweger | Carter Rutherford – John Krasinski | CC Frazier – Jonathan Pryce

The credits: Director – George Clooney | Writers – Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly | Producers – George Clooney, Barbara A. Hall, Grant Heslov, Casey Silver, Jeffrey Silver | Original Musical Score – Randy Newman | Cinematography – Newton Thomas Sigel | Editing – Stephen Mirrione | Casting – Ellen Chenoweth | Production Design – James D. Bissell | Art Direction – Christa Munro, Scott Ritenour | Set Decoration – Jan Pascale | Costume Design – Louise Frogley | Casey Silver Productions, Outlaw Productions, Road Rebel, Smoke House, Universal Pictures

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Tags: Comedy · Drama · Romance · Sports Films

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