Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
review, Champions, Champions, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Javier Gutiérrez, Athenea Mata, José De Luna, Sergio Olmo, Juan Margallo, Jesús Vidal, Gloria Ramos, Alberto Nieto Ferrández, Julio Fernández, Jesús Lago, Javier Fesser

CHAMPIONS

★★★

A BIG-HEARTED CROWD-PLEASER

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
14th April 2019

Marco Montes (Javier Gutiérrez, ‘Marshland’, ‘Assassin's Creed’) is the assistant coach of the basketball team CB Estudiantes - and a major wanker. Already separated from his wife Sonia (Athenea Mata), he is fired from his job after an altercation with his head coach during a game. Driving drunk, he rams into the back of a police car. Marco is ordered to either spend two years in prison or ninety days of community service, in the form of coaching Los Amigos, a team of people with disabilities. Described as a “group of 20-year-olds who behave as though they are six”, they are looked after by Julio (Juan Margallo).

'CHAMPIONS' TRAILER

At first, the news isn’t well received by the protagonist because, as mentioned, he’s a major wanker and looks down upon disabled people in general, referring to them as "subnormals". However, as Marco forges them into a competitive tournament-winning team, he begins to realise that he has a lot to learn from these people. Cue: all of the good vibes.

Director Javier Fesser (‘Camino’) has spent his career making comedies about lovably rogue-ish characters and movies which create large empathy with supposed social outsiders. His fifth film is inspired by Aderes team in Burjassot (Valencia), a team created with people with intellectual disabilities that has won twelve Spanish championships between 1999 and 2014.

It’s standard, crowd-pleasing stuff (replete with a big, climactic game featuring a heavy orchestral score and slow motion action), but it’s execution is energetic and impressively slick, leaning heavily towards laughs rather than relying on maudlin drama.

It’s standard, crowd-pleasing stuff (replete with a big, climactic game featuring a heavy orchestral score and slow motion action), but its execution is energetic and impressively slick, leaning heavily towards laughs rather than relying on maudlin drama. This is a film where the one girl on the team, Collantes (Gloria Ramos), who has Down syndrome, is prone to gaining an advantage by kicking her opponents in the nuts.

Played by actors with mental disabilities, the basketball team members in ‘Champions’ come across as far more emotionally balanced and candid and far less ruthless (aside from some nut-kicking) than the supposedly “normal” figures. The script is more patronising to Marco (Gutiérrez anchors the film with a strong performance) than it is to them.

‘Champions’ provides a lot of light-hearted laughs, but perhaps the film’s most impressive feat is the way it celebrates otherness at the same time as it criticises traditional attitudes to it.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 2h 4m
CAST: Javier Gutiérrez
Athenea Mata
José De Luna
Sergio Olmo
Juan Margallo
Jesús Vidal
Gloria Ramos
Alberto Nieto Ferrández
Julio Fernández
Jesús Lago
DIRECTOR: Javier Fesser
WRITER: David Marqués
PRODUCERS: Luis Manso
Álvaro Longoria
Gabriel Arias-Salgado
SCORE: Rafael Arnau
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Disclaimer | Contact Us