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The Last Great Amateurs (2004)

  Directed by: Sue Thomson
Starring: Magda Szubanski
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"It's not just about the sport" - a review by pearly

In The Last Great Amateurs, we're given a behind-the-scenes look at the intriguing world of Australian women's netball. This shortish documentary follows the Melbourne Phoenix, one of the highest-ranked teams in the National Netball League, and their struggles and triumphs in the 2003 season.

The film is narrated by Magda Szubanski, however, she does the narration in character as Sharon Strzelecki (her sports-loving unlucky-in-love character from Kath & Kim). This is an interesting addition, and it certainly generated some interest in the documentary (Szubanski appeared on a couple of chat shows the week prior and plugged it), but in the end, it serves as more of a distraction than an asset (especially given that I don't find the character particularly funny).

Other than this, the doco proves quite a good watch - I watched the whole thing, and enjoyed it all, and I don't even like sports. The focus is not just on the girls in the team, but also on the management and their attempts to keep within their measly budget, and the families of the team members, who join in the balancing act of training, games, injuries, promotions, and other family activities, all for the teeny tiny salary that the players are paid. There are a couple of women in the team who are going through a life-changing year, and these are especially interesting to watch.

Overall, an informative documentary with just the right level of controversy and joy, but one which was not without its faults.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 30 Nov 2004

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