Celtic Soul 2016
Distributed by Passion River Films, 154 Mt. Bethel Rd., Warren, NJ 07059; 732-321-0711
Produced by Markham Street Films
Directed by Michael McNamara
DVD, color, 88 min.
Humor, Popular Culture, Sports, Travel and Tourism
Date Entered: 06/26/2018Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
When the Celtic Football Club was founded in 1887 in Glasgow, Scotland, it was to provide an activity and purpose for Irish immigrants, escaping the potato famine. Now part of the Scottish Premier League, Celtic FC has millions of devoted supporters around the world. Canadian actor Jay Baruchel (Goons, Undeclared) and Irish sports journalist Eoin O’Callaghan, who met through Twitter and bonded over their devotion to the soccer club, are two of those fans. This amusing film is a sports-themed travel essay that begins in Montreal and ends at Celtic Park in Glasgow. In Canada, Jay introduces his counterpart to hockey, poutine and ‘steamies’, some Irish-Canadian history and local Celtic FC supporters. Later, the two drive from Dublin through western and Northern Ireland to Scotland. Along the way, they visit local pubs, major and minor historical landmarks, and sports arenas, as well as meeting past and present soccer players. Although primarily a road trip buddy movie, Baruchel’s exploration and discussion of his own family’s roots give some substance and earnestness to an otherwise standard sports fan film. Fans of soccer and/or Baruchel’s other comedic work will enjoy the light-weight, entertaining fare presented.