SXSW Film Reviews

Hooligans

D: Lexi Alexander; with Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani

Narrative Feature Competition

This is not a movie about soccer. It's about football, you yanks. And not just any football, either, but football in England, where football hooligans – once considered lower-class drunks keen on beating up rival fans – have emerged as stylish, highly organized, and even politicized "firms" that spend more time anticipating wild battles with other teams' firms than thinking about the games themselves. In comes Matt "what's a firm?" Buckner (Wood), straight from being unfairly kicked out of Harvard, who naively falls in with an insular firm through his brother-in-law, resulting in some great fight scenes, even better drinking songs, and a solid, unexpected hero. Though Hooligans follows a fairly predictable arc – Buckner resolves his inner turmoil by learning to take a few punches – and takes a forced, one-plus-one approach to building his backstory, it's worth it as the price of admission for this foray into the monolithic culture of English soccer, er, football firms. Plus, it's a great buddy flick.

Hooligans received both the Jury Award and Audience Award.

Alamo S. Lamar, 10pm

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