- 1 hr 37 min
Blackball is a quirky and humorous British sports comedy film, released in 2003, directed by Mel Smith, and starring Paul Kaye, James Cromwell, and Alice Evans. Set in the beautiful, coastal Dorset town of Torquay, the movie tells the story of a young up-and-coming lawn bowler named Cliff Starkey (played by Paul Kaye), who is determined to become the champion of the prestigious British lawn bowls tournament called the Golden Bowl. However, Cliff has a tendency to be a bit of a rebel and bend the rules, which leads to him getting banned from competing in the sport by the Bowls Association. Determined not to let this setback keep him down, Cliff starts his own team of misfits to challenge the bowling establishment and compete in the Golden Bowl. His rag-tag team includes his girlfriend Kerry (Alice Evans), who is also a talented bowler, and Ray (Johnny Vegas), who is always a good laugh but not much of a bowler. To help him out, Cliff convinces retired American lawn bowls champion, the gruff and cantankerous Sir Rodney (James Cromwell) to coach his team. The team's road to success is not without its challenges, especially when they come up against the stiff competition of Raymond (Phil Davis), the reigning champion of the Golden Bowl and a former teammate of Cliff's. However, with Sir Rodney's tough love coaching style and Cliff's daring tactics on the green, they soon start to make progress. The film takes viewers on an entertaining and heartwarming journey as we watch this unlikely group of underdogs bond and grow stronger together as they aim for glory. The comedic performances of the cast, especially Paul Kaye and Johnny Vegas, add to the hilarity and absurdity of the characters and their antics. Aside from the laughs, the film also explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and what it means to be a winner. As the team progresses, they face setbacks and personal challenges, but ultimately, they learn that winning isn't everything and that what really matters is the journey and the people you share it with. The cinematography of the film is also noteworthy, capturing the beauty and charm of the seaside town of Torquay and the elegance of the sport of lawn bowls. Overall, Blackball is an enjoyable and feel-good sports comedy, perfect for a fun evening's entertainment. With its mix of laughs, heart, and memorable characters, it's a film that will leave you feeling uplifted and cheering for the underdog.