- 1 hr 30 min
Marvellous is a heartwarming British biographical drama film that tells the inspiring story of Neil Baldwin, a real-life man who succeeded in life despite being diagnosed with learning difficulties. The film was directed by Julian Farino and released in 2014. The movie stars Toby Jones in the lead role of Neil Baldwin, while Gemma Jones plays his mother and Tony Curran his brother. The film is set in the 1980s and 1990s and follows Neil's journey from being a circus clown to becoming a well-known figure in the football community, a lay preacher, and a friend to many people.
The film opens with Neil as a clown, performing in a circus. He is later fired from the circus and is shown wandering the streets before finding a new home at Keele University in Staffordshire. Despite having no formal education, Neil shows a keen interest in attending the university and is allowed to do so on the condition that he finds a job.
Neil's childlike innocence and lack of inhibitions attract people to him, including the university's football team. He becomes their unofficial mascot and begins to attend their matches, where he cheers them on enthusiastically. Neil's devotion to the team brings him closer to the players, and he eventually becomes the team's kitman.
As Neil's life takes a turn for the better, he begins to make more friends, including his mentor, Father Joe, played by Steven Mackintosh. Father Joe guides Neil to become a lay preacher, and soon, Neil is known not only for his love of football but also his passion for preaching.
Despite constant setbacks, including being evicted from his home and losing his job, Neil remains positive and determined to succeed. His unbreakable spirit inspires those around him, including Tony, his skeptical brother, who eventually comes around and joins Neil's support system.
The film's highlight is Neil's relationship with the legendary Stoke City football manager, Lou Macari, played by Tony Curran. Neil's devotion to the team and his passion for football impresses Macari, who offers him a job at the team's stadium.
Neil's journey is marked by several ups and downs, but his never-say-die attitude keeps him going. The film highlights how Neil's unwavering spirit, combined with the kindness of the people around him, results in his achieving incredible things.
Marvellous is a moving and uplifting tale that reminds us that every person has a unique talent and that one should never give up on their dreams, no matter the obstacles. Toby Jones gives a fantastic performance as Neil, bringing the character to life with his quirky mannerisms and infectious optimism.
The film's supporting cast, including Gemma Jones and Tony Curran, also deliver powerful performances, adding depth to the story. Overall, Marvellous is a must-watch film that will leave viewers feeling inspired and uplifted.