Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Uma História de Futebol (A Soccer Story) (2000)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Short Film, Live Action - Paulo Machline

"Uma Historia de Futebol," or "A Soccer Story," is Brazilian filmmaker Paulo Machline's tale of the recollections of an older man telling of his childhood soccer team.  The team is a colorful collection of types that would be comfortably at home in any child-themed sports movie, such as the rotund goalie (The Mighty Ducks) and the extraordinarily gifted teammate with the potential for greatness (The Sandlot).  The story isn't terribly compelling, but for a short film there is enough going on to keep things moving along nicely.

Yet the film would be completely forgettable were it not for the little twist at the film's end, when we find out that one of the narrator's teammates is more than he seemed.  This revelation, which I will refrain from revealing despite the fact that the film is more than a decade old and thus the spoiler-alert compact between writer and reader should not apply, is what gives the film the entirety of its impact.  But much more could have been done with this revelation, which is little more than an aside, and the film is still little more than a fluffy little recollection that might have made an interesting essay but just isn't impactful enough for a film, even a short one.

Special thanks to the Arlington Public Library for finding a VHS copy of "Ume Historia de Futebol" through the interlibrary loan system from the Wichita Public Library.  For anyone who loves obscure short films, the interlibrary loan system is an essential tool, and the librarians at APL have been invaluable to me in this project.

Remaining: 3167 films, 871 Oscars, 5442 nominations

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