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(Review originally written at 13 November 2005)

This movie was a great little surprise. It's a wonderful Dutch family movie with some good dramatic moments but it's also a movie that is entertaining to watch.

The movie is perfectly made! It perfectly mixes the dramatic moments with the sport and fun elements of the movie. The storytelling is truly excellent and reminded me of the better Scandinavian family movies. The portrayal of the normal everyday Dutch family is perfect, this is mainly thanks to the actors Thomas Acda and Wendy Van Dijk who both are very believable in their roles as parents. The story is told in a perfectly realistic way. The whole plot line in which the father returns as a ghost might sound lame but it works surprising well for the movie and its emotions. Nothing in the movie is ever over-dramatized and everything in the movie feels highly realistic. It makes most of the emotions and events in the movie really powerful because they feel very real and understandable.

The story is really great. Even though nothing in the movie happens as a real surprise, it all is perfectly told. The story is about every 11-year old boy's dream; becoming a football (or soccer for you Americans) player for the national team. The football scene's in the movie are all filmed in a beautiful way and really show the beauty, of the game that is football.

There really are some unforgettable moments in the movie. One of those unforgettable moments is a match between some old deceased football legends versus the '58 crashed Manchester United squad. There is plenty to enjoy here in this movie for the football fans but still also people who aren't fans of the game will enjoy this movie. Even though this is a sports movie the emphasis of the movie is on the drama and is about realizing dreams. Everyone should be able to recognize himself in most of the events in the movie and should be able to relate to the characters. This all is both thanks to the way the story is told and because of the actors. Yannick van de Velde is a great young talent and Thomas Acda and Wendy Van Dijk are perfectly cast. Also most of the supporting actors are strong in their roles.

This really is a wonderful family movie that is dramatic, realistic, beautiful and entertaining at the same time. Especially if you like Scandinavian movies this is a must see but also to everyone else this movie is highly recommendable.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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