Best

Best

I caught this drama at a film festival, which is probably the only place in America that one will see it, being as it is all about George Best, the Northern Irish soccer player whose rise and fall as Manchester United's superstar forward in the 1960s is hardly a household name to those outside the UK.

In the title role, Irish actor John Lynch (best known for playing Gwyneth Paltrow's two-timing boyfriend in Sliding Doors) does a serviceable job, though his hangdog looks make him seem too old for the twentysomething Best. The rest of the cast, including British luminaries such as Linus Roach, Ian Hart, and even Roger Daltrey, are also fine (though Patsy Kensit is pretty awful as Best's girlfriend).

This film was clearly a labor of love for Lynch, who also cowrote the script and co-executive produced. Alas, he and his story are all but done in by McGuckian's absolutely irritating directorial style. She aims for a late '60s look, which is fine in theory but horrid in practice: she fills her movie with wild camera zooms, odd cuts, and, worst of all, endless shots of characters speaking into the camera, as if we ourselves were poor drunk George Best. This POV nonsense kills the seriousness of the story. In the end, all we're left with is a portrait of a guy who was really good at soccer, but drank too much and became a mess. Who cares?