Best

From the opening - a studio mock-up ringing to awkward laughter, where an embarrassed George Best (Lynch, subdued), minded by fellow footballer Rodney Marsh (Daltrey), defends his reputation to interviewer Clive Anderson - the uneasy tone of this part tribute (Best served as script consultant), part history of the great Manchester United player is established. It's a familiar tale: of a boy uprooted (he was taken from Belfast as a 15-year-old), his long wait, his glory years on the field, his 'pop' celebrity, his women (represented by Kensit's Anna), and then the long, slow descent as gambling and booze take over. The film is scrappily put together, the re-creations of the great footballing moments don't work, the 30-year 'father-son' relationship of Best and Matt Busby (Bannen) is overly drawn out, and the whole is slightly seedy and unenlightening. Lynch's professional gives the impression of a completely unremarkable man as much damned as blessed by an extraordinary talent.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mary McGuckian
Screenwriter: John Lynch, Mary McGuckian
Cast: John Lynch
Ian Bannen
Jerome Flynn
Ian Hart
Patsy Kensit
Cal MacAninch
Linus Roache
Adrian Lester
David Hayman
James Ellis
Roger Daltrey
Stephen Fry
Clive Anderson
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