Eleven Men Out (2005) Poster

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Great Fun from the Toronto International Film Festival: 2005
Jamester15 September 2005
I saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival with the director present.

This was a fun ride. This Icelandic film about a gay athlete that comes out to his team and family outlines the follow-up pressures in a fun, light, and at times serious tone. This mix was a great balance for a drama/comedy making it highly accessible. Not only do we see the immediate implications from his outing, but the athlete takes strong action to get on with his life and to help those around him accept the simple fact that he's gay -- which is no big deal to him, but which is evidently a big deal to so many people around him. This keeps you rooting for things to work out, and for his family, friends and fellow athletes to simply accept this part of him and get on with it -- including their own lives.

The overall disfunctionality of everyone creates characters that are at times caricatures, but that really add a light and well-rounded touch to this work. In fact, being caricatures adds a nice touch of depth to the overall character developmnet. I'm glad the characters were lightened up as this resulted in some humour that really made this film work.

Overall, I had a fun time watching this. I hope you do as well!
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The flip side of Brokeback
MOscarbradley20 March 2006
As 'coming out' movies go this cheap and immensely cheerful Icelandic comedy is as nifty as you could wish. Ottar is his local soccer team's best player when, in the film's opening minutes, he announces to his team mates, his father and his teenage son, not to mention a local journalist there to do a sports story, that he is gay. What follows is a highly entertaining, feel-good movie about being true to yourself and winning, if not all of the people then some of the people, (the right people, presumably), round to your liberal way of thinking.

It doesn't shirk away from more serious issues such as homophobia and the effect of coming out has on your wife and family, but as Ottar finds other players to join him when he is ostracized by his own team and eventually form a 'gay team' of their own, they are not interested in gay agitprop but in simply having a good time. This they manage to do despite the almost perpetual rain that seems to plague Iceland, at least when this film was made. Very enjoyable, then. All that's missing is any trace of football.
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Very cute film
brianbrewer8 June 2006
i really enjoyed this film...caught it at the American Scandinavian Foundation last night here in NYC. it was a realistic, emotional, and full of humor. of course, the sexy hunky guys were a plus!! does it really rain so much in iceland? i thought bjorn and lilja were wonderful actors. i was impressed with their work. and the scene where the mother is on the bed crying...HILARIOUS and very realistic. my mother did something similar when i came out at the age of 17. so the dialogue about the dish was perfect. i thought the film did a good job of showing what a teenage son might go through with a parent coming out. i'm just glad no one killed themselves, like in most icelandic films i've seen! instead, this one ends on a really light, positive note. i wonder what the reality of gay live in iceland is...i'll have to research that. thanks, Mr. Douglas, for a very enjoyable film!
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Best thing to come out of Iceland?
missjoho-13 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Warning, potential spoilers...

Eleven Men Out is a rare European film, and one that doesn't play for the big laughs or go for the obvious moments. Director Robert Douglas, paints a knowing and fun look at a side of Icelandic culture that few outside of the country will know. Using his previous deadpan approach, the comedic moments come from his unique skill at characterising and recognising the odd quirks that make up every day people. He takes great joy in turning stereotypes on their heads; in one gay sex scene, the lead actor is having anal sex with his teammate on the living room sofa, when his 13 year old son comes in, catches them at it, and shrieks 'fucking perverts', while dad just replies matter of factly, 'Hi son, what're you doing here?'. This is the kind of humour that is rife throughout Eleven Men Out, but sometimes, the comedy can be so deadpan, that you do have to pay attention, or you will miss it.

The ending too, isn't quite as you would imagine. Again, Douglas takes an almost gleeful approach, deliberately toying with audience expectations to then deliver a low key, but yet satisfying, conclusion. My only warning is to say that this is not an Icelandic Bend It Like Beckham, a story of how the underdog does good, so if you go in not expecting that, you should enjoy this. My last comment on this subject - any film about football which doesn't actually contain hardly any scenes of football, wins my vote!

Douglas is a brilliant and challenging filmmaker who, only in his early thirties now, already holds the title as one of Iceland's top film directors. I look forward to seeing what he produces in the next few years and hope that his work starts reaching global audiences.
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Funny film from Iceland
klizzdu553 October 2005
It's been a long time since we've had a genuinely funny film here in Iceland. Been to dramatic over the last years. This film is first and foremost a feel-good and light affair about a star football player that comes out of the closet and the way he and his family deal with it. It's not the old story of somebody coming out and having huge problems with it, the main character here seems to have no problems with his gay life and it's more his teammates and most notably his teenage son and ex-beauty queen wife that have some unclear issues about him being gay. The film decides to take the humorous road and it's refreshing to see a film about gay themes that does not take itself too seriously. It does have it's dramatic moments, but the drama/comedy is a nice blend and the film makers manage to do this very well. The director has been very popular here in Iceland with his earlier films but has yet to do anything notable outside of Iceland, this seems to be the film that might get him noticed abroad, let's hope so anyway.
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A gay pride caper that is short on comedy
rasecz31 March 2006
The film wastes no time getting to the meat of the story: a successful player in one of Iceland's top soccer teams reveals to the press that he is homosexual. That revelation and how it is done produces the only good laugh. For the remainder of this gay caper, the humor goes flat. (Humor is of course cultural. Maybe in Iceland they find the film funny.) The real underlying comedy is how the main character's homosexuality is the object of virulent reproach while the wife's chronic drunkenness is almost accepted as normal. As can be expected of such light fare, all ends in a positive mood and with a big hurrah for gay pride.
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Not So Good
jbarnes-1023 October 2006
I saw this last night at the Fort Lauderdale Intl Film Festival and I was disappointed. While the Cast (especially the lead) is quite stunning to look at, most of the film's only laughs come from the lead's drunken ex-wife. The print of the film we saw was blurry and could not be focused. It was very hard to keep up on reading the subtitles, they were very fast, much faster than normal. The story just didn't go much of anywhere and the ending was quite uneventful. The look of the film is of course very cold and gray, I assume this was filmed during the summer, I can only imagine how gray, cold and isolated it would look in winter. Lots of old lame gay jokes and of course the needless use of drag queens. (why does every gay movie have to have a drag queen lurking about somewhere). Wait for the DVD on this one, but don't expect much.
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Miscategorized as Comedy
imdb-43146 July 2009
Comparing this film (categorized as a comedy) with other queer comedy titles throws off the potential viewer.

While possibly droll in a few parts, Eleven Men doesn't raise even a wry chuckle.

What this film does do is track the fallout of a professional soccer player and his family (parents, siblings, ex-wife and child) along with the interactions in his soccer club (old and new) when that player announces that he is gay.

While working hard to not be political or for/against the gay cause, the player's new team can't help but be caught up in the hype of their new gay player and the stigma it throws on the team.

Not as dry as a documentary, but not as light as an American attempt at the same material. Interesting more than entertaining. Good, just not fun.
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