Director: Dragan Bjelogrlic
Starring: Milos Bikovic, Petar Strugar, Nina Jankovic, Danina Jeftic
Language: Serbian, Bulgarian
Duration: 140 min.
A story about a team that decides to follow a dream that takes them on a journey to the First World Football Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. A dream that allows them to become true stars and living legends.
Montevideo, God Bless You! is the directorial debut by long time Serbian actor Dragan Bjelogrlic, inspired by a novel written by Vladimir Stankovic about the true story of a group of football (soccer) players from Belgrade in the late 1920s who overcame adversity to form a national team to compete in the first World Cup in Uruguay. It is Serbia's official entry to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foriegn Language Film.
Bjelogrlic unabashedly rehashes and milks the familiar crowd-pleasing underdog sports story for all its worth here, in an unoriginal, formulaic, and sentimental film that at just under two and a half hours in length is almost too much sappiness to endure.
To be fair, the film is admittedly well made, including a solid attractive cast featuring Serbian beauties Danina Jeftic and Nina Jankovic, who serve as distractions and cause tension for the two star players played by Milos Bikovic and Petar Strugar, great costumes and decent attention to period details throughout; and some skillfully shot sepia-toned cinematography that evokes the era beautifully and captures the surprisingly impressive choreography of the game sequences quite nicely.
In the end though, Montevideo, God Bless You! is just another of the many cliched feel-good sports films out there, the only thing setting it apart from the rest is it's a Serbian one.
— Bonjour Tristesse