Blackball

This is part of my section on alternative film recommendations, check out the Films to See category for other recommendations.

Now, I’m not a fan of lawn bowls. In fact, I would generally describe it as a boring game played by old people. Not something you would typically want to make a movie about, but that’s exactly what Blackball is about. Cliff Starkey (Paul Kaye) is not your typical bowls player; he’s rude, obnoxious and from a council estate. Normally he avoids club greens as a way of sticking two fingers up at the elitist bowls committee, but when the chance to take on the Aussie Doohan brothers, undefeated for years, pops up, he puts his mind to making the England team. Unfortunately, he has a little problem: a 15-year ban. Blackball is a comedy with a distinctly British feel, and as such, may only appeal to British tastes (and much of the Commonwealth, not to mention the Germans, who, apparently, love British humour). It plays on the class differences, the age differences, and it pokes fun at the stuffy bowls establishment, but it’s ultimately a poor boy done good tale, with a dollop of romance. It’s exceptionally funny, and don’t be put off by the topic, they make bowls look much more exciting than I’m sure it actually is.

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