Any Given Sunday (1999)

Play or be Played.

A star quarterback gets knocked out of the game and an unknown third stringer is called in to replace him. The unknown gives a stunning performance and forces the ageing coach to reevaluate his game plans and life. A new co-owner/president adds to the pressure of winning. The new owner must prove herself in a male dominated world.

That's what a leader's about: sacrifice. The times he's gotta sacrifice because he's gotta lead, by example. Not by fear and not by self-pity.
Any Given Sunday is directed by Oliver Stone and Stone co-writes the screenplay with Daniel Pyne and John Logan. It stars Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Aaron Eckhart and Jim Brown. Music is by Richard Horowitz and Paul Kelly and cinematography by Salvatore Totino.
A star quarterback gets knocked out of the game and an unknown third stringer is called in to replace him. The unknown gives a stunning performance and forces the aging coach to re-evaluate his game plans and his life. A new female co-owner/president adds to the pressure of the team winning. The new owner must prove her self in a male dominated world while old coach and old quarterback equally have much to prove...
Stone, the perennial poo stirrer that he is, shifted gear this time around to bring us his take on the brutal world on and off the pitch of American Gridiron. Though without doubt this is far too long in run time (2hrs 40), given that it isn't actually multifaceted in characterisation terms (Diaz underwritten), there's no denying that visually this finds Stone at his best. The quickfire editing might not be to everyone's taste, but it really puts you right in every play out there on the field. So much so you can hear and feel every spit, vomit, blood spill and vociferous grunt.
No faults in the acting performances either, with Pacino thankfully doing his thing and Foxx superb as egotist QB Willie Beamen taking the honours and holding court. The narrative strains to make a point about the roles of black and whites in the game, and this being Stone there is no "stone" (sorry) left unturned into behaviour of the game's stars behind the scenes. Is this a movie none American Football fans can enjoy?, yes of course if one is interested in the various skill strands of the art, but really it's one for fans of the sport to see and feel the harsh realities of the game back in the previous decades. 8/10

The Donners' Company, Ixtlan, Warner Bros. Pictures by Oliver Stone, Daniel Pyne, John Logan.
Stars: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods.

Genres: Drama, Sport

Keywords: american football trainer training american football coach sports american football stadium

12/22/1999

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