Barça Dreams

2.5 Stars

Straightforward doco about Barcelona FC.

This is very much a documentary and not a movie’s movie, so it was difficult to compare with other films. I actually felt misplaced watching it at the cinema, I ought to have been curled up at home with a blanket and a hot drink after spontaneously finding it whilst flicking through the channels on TV.

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Barça Dreams is a journey through time, a mish-mash of interviews and old footage from the club’s humble beginnings when it was formed by Swiss man Joan Gamper, through the Spanish civil war and right up until the present day. Remarkably, but the values and spirit of the Barcelona have remained in tact since it was first conceived. The rivalry between manager Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho was particularly amusing.

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This is of course highly recommended viewing for Barcelona fans and football enthusiasts, however still watchable for the rest of us, although admittedly a little dull in some of the historical parts. Not just about football, the ideals presented here are great inspiration for anyone who wants to follow a dream; showing how competition can be a positive force in pushing forward to achieving greater things.

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Although narrated in English, many of the interviews are in Spanish; so unless you know the language you should be prepared for some serious reading!

Barça Dreams premieres in Sweden on November 30.

By The Sea

2.5 Stars

Intense, yet stiff.

If feeling like you’ve gone through 10 years of marriage struggle in the space of 2 hours sounds like fun, you’re in for a treat! Not the best subject matter to be acting out on their Honeymoon, but newlyweds Angelina Jolie-Pitt and Brad Pitt chose to shoot a film about a loveless marriage, penned and directed by Angelina herself.

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Has-been writer Roland (Brad Pitt) and wife Vanessa (Angelina Jolie-Pitt) have travelled to a seaside French town as inspiration for Roland’s writing. Their already tense relationship strains to breaking point when a newly-married couple move into the room next door.

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We can only hope that the film was less dispiriting to make than to watch. Not to say that this is a bad thing; the fact that such emotions of anguish could be transferred to the viewer is evidence of the quality of the acting, writing and so forth. However, it needed to have been worth it. I’m reminded of sitting through Breaking Bad and going through all of that pain and heartache – it was worth it in the end because it had enough kick in the storyline to completely satisfy. By The Sea doesn’t really have quite the same highs and lows to balance out all the emotion; for you to leave the cinema feeling like the distress was entirely justified.

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By The Sea premieres in Sweden on November 13.