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5 films about the underdog, ahead of the World Cup final


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So, you may or may not have heard that about the World Cup final this year... Tonight, Croatia will be facing off against the established French football team, making this the first time in World Cup history that Croatia have made it to a final. 

The underdogs who come good is a narrative we love, so here’s five films to get you in the mood for this unexpected match! 

1. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 

Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning film features the unexpected triumph of Jamal, a boy from the slums of Mumbai who wins Who Wants to be a Millionaire? by answering a series of questions nobody would ever expect someone from his background to complete. When he’s accused of cheating, he relates the life experiences which have led to his diverse knowledge, proving that our expectations of others are often far too low. 

2. Rocky (1976) 

The classic rags-to-riches story, this features the classic montage scenes which have been parodied and copied so many times since. Rocky Balboa is a small-time fighter with no money whose hard work enables him to rise through the rankings. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone! 

3. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Two underdog stories run in parallel in the film Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for: the 2008 Philadelphia Eagles season and main characters’ Patrick and Tiffany’s bid for dance success. It’s a good one to keep yourself in the sporting mood!  

4. Eddie the Eagle (2016)

Eddie the Eagle tells the true 1988 story of Eddie Edwards, the first British ski-jumper to qualify for the Olympics since 1928. Yes, it’s clichéd, but it’s an easy watch and will put you in the perfect mood for the night. 

5. Bend it Like Beckham (2002) 

Jess Bhamra shouldn’t succeed at football: her family are Indian, she hasn’t got the right shoes, and she’s a girl. But just watch her go in this modern classic, starring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley and Jonathan Rhys Meyer. It’s a bit dated in places now, but remains fun, and will remind you why to love the beautiful game whatever your background.


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