When I first heard that there was a FIFA movie showing at Cannes, I optimistically assumed it would be a dramatisation of 'FIFA's Dirty Secrets', the BBC Panorama documentary in which Andrew Jennings exposed the irregularities in the bidding process for the World Cup.
Alas, no. The ball-achingly corny title 'United Passions' should be a giveaway to the sincere, FIFA-supported propaganda that it is. So well supported, in fact, that the association provided £16 million of the film's £19 million total budget.
The modest, but not insignificant budget (by comparison, Invictus had US$50 million) allowed for some decent casting choices to make the experience somewhat bearable and unintentionally hilarious. Tim Roth's skill as a character actor allows him to pass off a somewhat believable Sepp Blatter, while Sam Neill of Jurassic Park fame plays Blatter's longtime predecessor João Havelange with far less accuracy.
Big-nosed right winger Gérard Depardieu plays Jules Rimet, the founder of the organisation who hid the trophy that bears his name under his bed during the Nazi occupation of Paris. I don't know if that tale is recounted in the movie, but it's the kind of wholesomeness that would sit pretty well with the makers and backers of this officially-approved history.
The production quality looks fine, and it may be of interest to sports history buffs, so I'll probably watch it to pick holes in its accuracy, and/or until the awful script and sincere tone forces me to give up after roughly 34 minutes.
I've no idea of 'United Passions' will be shown in Irish cinemas, but it's not like that will prevent you from watching it somewhere.