There's Only One Jimmy Grimble

There's Only One Jimmy Grimble


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

And the award for this year's lousy British comedy goes to...something else. I had my fears but There's Only One Jimmy Grimble is fantastic. Critics are supposed to deconstruct a film's hidden depths and all that stuff but there's no point. It's just fantastic.

Misfit schoolkid Jimmy dreams of being a footballer. A mysterious old woman gives him a pair of "magic" boots. They turn him into the star player in the school team. The bullies stop picking on him. His bitter teacher rediscovers his passion for life. Cliché after cliché after cliché, but the whole film has such a big heart you can't help loving it.

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Newcomer Lewis McKenzie plays Jimmy with an energy and fire which propels everything. Robert Carlyle, Gina McKee and Ray Winstone give a strong backbone without ever trying to steal the limelight. Writer Simon Mayle has perfectly captured the land of teenage boys - football, girls and avoiding the bullies.

The key line of the movie comes at the trials for the school team. Jimmy is delighted at being selected and thinks, "A place on the bench - that's got to be worth a gob in the face" as he wipes the bully's spit from his hair. If you don't understand that then you wont get the whole film. Director John Hay calls it a modern urban fairy tale. It's like The Full Monty's crazy brother-in-law.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A misfit schoolkid dreams of being a footie star.
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Read more There's Only One Jimmy Grimble reviews:

Keith Hennessey Brown ****
Nicola Osborne ***1/2
Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: John Hay

Writer: Simon Mayle, John Hay, Rik Carmichael

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Gina McKee, Ray Winstone, Lewis McKenzie, Ben Miller, Jane Lapotaire

Year: 2000

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


EIFF 2000

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