The monumental box office bomb, “United Passions”, a big budget, FIFA-sactioned, well, story of FIFA was dismissed earlier this by the Guardian’s Jordan Hoffman as “pure corporate pamphleteering”, or if you prefer, “excrement”. Fast forward 6 months later, and Guardian colleagues Jacob Steinberg, Paul Doyle and Nick Miller take the occasion of The Fiver’s 2015 Christmas Awards to present said opus with “THE MICHAEL CAINE AWARD FOR TROUSERING A FAT CHEQUE IN EXCHANGE FOR DUBIOUS ART” :
“I have never seen the film,” said Michael Caine, so the legend goes, when asked about his role in ‘Jaws 4: The Revenge’, “but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” That certainly sprang to mind when the Fifa-funded opus United Passions emerged from the very bowels of cinematic civilisation this year, with assorted rather well-credentialed artists attached to it, including Tim Roth, Gerard Depardieu and Dr Alan Gran … sorry, Sam Neill. One hopes they were paid handsomely for their troubles, something for which only the churlish and those expecting a warts-and-all portrayal of Fifa’s history from a film it paid for could possibly begrudge them, and also that they regard the experience with a little more happiness than the film’s director, Frédéric Auburtin. “Now I’m seen as bad as the guy who brought Aids to Africa or the guy who caused the financial crisis,” he wailed. “My name is all over [this mess] and apparently I am a propaganda guy making films for corrupt people.” Sounds about right, actually.