John Maguire on Film: The Beautiful Game’s sugary excesses are tempered by realism and positivity

Also this week, an enjoyable French thriller and a disappointing Stephen Frears drama

Bill Nighy with Michael Ward in The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game

Directed by Thea Sharrock

Netflix, 12, rating: ***

The Homeless World Cup is, in many ways, a lot like any other football tournament. Teams of men and women from 70 countries meet for an annual knockout competition where the winner is awarded a glittering trophy, the difference being the players are all unhoused or otherwise socially excluded.

The four-a-side matches are fast and skilful affairs played over 14 minutes on a ...