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  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

A national treasure for his footballing skills, his on-pitch blubbing and his bizarre antics, Gazza speaks in this underwhelming doc

There’s more than one elephant crammed into the room during this sympathetic but insufficient portrait of former Spurs and England player Paul Gascoigne. The film’s strength is Gascoigne himself, talking frankly and sometimes upsettingly to camera – with so many ultra-close-ups of his face and hands as to suggest the filmmakers can’t quite believe they’ve got him.

Gazza flips between jolly and maudlin, although the 48-year-old’s aged face tells its own story. The smiles fall away when he remembers the younger brother of a childhood friend dying in his 10-year-old arms after a road accident near his Gateshead home. But they return when he recalls how in 1988 he rejected an offer to join Alex Ferguson at Man Utd after Spurs’s Terry Venables agreed to throw in a house and car for his parents – and a sunbed for his sister.

Other interviewees are limited to the football – Lineker, Rooney, Mourinho. And the main focus of the film is sport: Gascoigne’s speedy rise and equally speedy fall on the back of injuries. The pressures of fame are briefly covered, as are Gazza’s well-documented problems with alcohol. But this is mostly a glass-half-full affair, aimed at friendly, nostalgic fans.

Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 5 June 2015
  • Duration:85 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Jane Preston
  • Screenwriter:Jane Preston
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