Last week, we told you that the documentary “Undefeated” produced by former NFL player Ed Cunningham was up for best documentary at the Oscars.
In the meantime, the film won the award, the director become temporarily infamous, and I went to see the movie with my wife.
I’m no Will Leitch when it comes to film reviews, but this was an incredible moviegoing experience. If you read this site, you probably love football. It’s hard to imagine anyone that loves football not falling in love with this movie.
The filmakers follow coach Bill Courtney and the 2009 Manassas High School football team in Memphis, Tennessee. At one point, Courtney speaks to his team and points out that he’s never made a tackle or a completion; that the players earned their success and deserve the credit. The story is beautifully told, but I couldn’t help but think Courtney and his players like Money, Chavis, and O.C. Brown deserve a lot of credit for the film winning the Oscar.
The characters and stories are so rich it’s almost hard to believe it’s a documentary. One scene where Chavis speaks to the team is among the most emotional scenes I’ve ever seen on screen.
This is Friday Night Lights the TV show, but real. Or the book Friday Night Lights come to life. Or Hoop Dreams for football.
The film is only playing in a few theaters around the country, but it’s expanding this weekend. Judging by the five people total in the theater Monday night, it should arrive on DVD and Netflix soon enough. Just see it, okay?