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Netflix's The Beautiful Game trailer looks like a feel-good winner


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For over two decades now, the Homeless World Cup has been a powerful force in the battle against homelessness: more than 1.2 million people have participated in the tournament, representing nearly 70 different countries, and it's had a life-changing impact on many. And it looks like upcoming Netflix move The Beautiful Game has done a great job of bringing that drama and excitement to the screen.

The film stars Bill Nighy as the manager of England's homeless football team as they travel to Rome for the World Cup. His star player is the talented but troubled Vinny, played by Micheal Ward. If he can let go of his past and become a team player he could just take England to the top. But that's not going to be easy.

When can you watch The Beautiful Game on Netflix?

The Beautiful Game will arrive on Netflix on March 29, and it looks like it'll be worth waiting for: it was written by the multiple award-winning novelist and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who was rather excellently in a band called Dead Trout in the 1970s and who, more relevantly, was described by the late film critic Roger Ebert as one of the few truly inventive modern screenwriters. His Manchester music drama 24 Hour Party People was spectacular, and he was one of the brilliant minds behind London's incredible 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

Micheal Ward doesn't have quite so much history, but the actor is another award winner: he won the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2020 and picked up another BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2022 for his part in the Sam Mendes drama Empire of Light. You may know him from Top Boy, in which he played Jamie Tovell in a story arc I still haven't gotten over.

Here, Ward is teamed up with legendary character actor Bill Nighy, whose shelves are groaning under the weight of BAFTAs and Golden Globes. Like Cottrell-Boyce he too was in an excellently named band, The Love Ponies. Music's loss is clearly acting's gain. Finger crossed The Beautiful Game rides its heart-warming premise all the way to our list of the best Netflix movies.

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