Tag Archives: Senna



Cristiano Ronaldo may appear on the surface to be an uninspiring and uninteresting subject for a documentary. After all, despite being one of, if not the best footballers in the world, he is a preening, arrogant superstar more interested in his image and individual glory more than anything else.

However, Anthony Wonke and Asif Kapadia, the team behind the documentaries on the late Formula 1 driver Aryten Senna and singer Amy Winehouse have managed to produce a film that gives an insight into the person as well as the player.

The central themes are his rivalry with Lionel Messi, his desire to be the very best player he can be and his relationship with his family; especially his son.

Without giving too much away, it is his family life and learning about where he came from – a relatively less well-off life in Madeira – that provides the most interest, especially as a football fan.

The major difference between this and Wonke and Kapadia’s previous work is that the subject, Ronaldo, is alive and well and probably had some say over what could go in to the final cut. Whereas Senna and Winehouse were long dead when their life stories were told by the duo.

Ronaldo himself is very divisive. In this and subsequent interviews given around the release of this film he comes across as both very arrogant and very humble. He knows how attractive he is, how good he is at football and how loved he is and he loves to let people know as well.

But also he comes across as an excellent father (to a son he named after himself), a loving son and sibling and somebody who can talk openly and honestly about his strained relationship with his now deceased father and the fact that he does not drink because if his dad’s alcoholism.

Perhaps the one thing it doesn’t make much of is his charity work, how much he does for various charities in terms of both work and donations, and that he does not have any tattoos so he can continue to give blood a number of times a year.

Although including this may have made the documentary come across as sycophantic, too heavily influenced by the player himself and more of a publicity piece than an insight in to the man.

There are better sports documentaries out there; most of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series and Senna to name a few. But this is worth a watch, especially for fans of the beautiful game.

If you are a football fan, you might not take anything away from this. You may know enough about the Portugal international already, or your allegiances to certain clubs and nations may have already given you an unwavering opinion on the man.

However, if you do not know much about football, or much about Ronaldo the person, you may just learn that the way he comes across on the pitch and off the pitch are very different.

Ronaldo is in cinemas across the UK right now. Check out the trailer below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33gTb1v3wds]

Best Films on TV: 7-13 October

Giving his suggestions on which films on TV this week you should keep an eye out for is Owen Hughes

reservoir-dogsMonday 7 October – Reservoir Dogs (Channel 5, 10.55pm)

The directorial debut of one of the most influential directors of a generation, Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs is a classic. It’s both intelligently scripted and wickedly witty, with a style that would be perfected in Tarantino’s follow up movie, Pulp Fiction, there’re fewer films out there that are as downright cool as this.

Tuesday 8 October – Tabu (Film4 00.50am)

Bit of a late one, and not actually a film I was personally all that impressed with. However, this slightly surreal Portuguese black and white drama is highly regarded by real critics. In fact, it came second on Sight & Sound’s top 10 of 2012 list. It’s a tragic love story set just before the Portuguese Colonial War. You can hear what I really thought of it on our recent World Cinema Podcast.

Wednesday 9 October – The Wedding Singer (ITV2, 8pm)

I’ll be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of choice for the best film on TV on Wednesday. Frank Coraci‘s lighthearted comedy starring Adam Sandler as a miserable wedding singer is a nice, gentle humoured film that whilst not spectacular at all, will probably be a more than welcome relief to anybody who stayed up to watch Tabu on Tuesday!

Thursday 10 October – Monsieur Lazhar (Film4, 11am)

This French-Canadian Oscar nominated (for best foreign picture) drama tells the story of an Algerian refugee and substitute teacher called Bachir Lazhar who finds himself in charge of a class still suffering from the grief of their teacher who recently committed suicide at the school. It sounds very bleak, and in many respects it is, but it’s an uplifting story too that has a very warm message at its heart.

Friday 11 October – The Graduate (ITV3, 00.05am)

A bizarre love triangle (square?) ensues when Dustin Hoffman, a recent college graduate, ends up having an affair with the wife of his father’s business partner. This comes back to haunt him when he ends up falling in love with her daughter Elaine. Not a film I’ve seen actually, but one that’s so highly regarded it’d be reminisce of me to ignore it. I’ve had the DVD from Lovefilm sat on my table for the past 3 weeks so maybe this will prompt me into finally getting around to watching it. Hopefully. We’ll see.

Saturday 12 October – A Fistful of Dollars (Channel Five, 9pm)

The first in Sergio Leone’s “man with no name” trilogy of spaghetti westerns that shot its star Clint Eastwood into superstardom. There are fewer films that would make a Saturday evening even more complete than this. Probably only 2 that I can think of; For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

Sunday 13 October – Senna (ITV 10.20pm)

One of the most acclaimed documentaries of recent years with a recently revived interest following Ron Howard’s Rush that came out last month, Senna documents the career of one of Formula One’s most revered racers whose life was tragically cut short in a crash, the Brazilian sporting legend, Ayrton Senna. Maybe it plays fast and loose with one or two details, and it might be slightly biased in its views of his rivalries, but if you enjoyed Rush, you should enjoy this too (or so I hear.)