Celtic Soul Directed by Michael McNamara
Published Nov 24, 2016The members of Judd Apatow's loose comedy collective each have their own infatuations. Seth Rogen loves weed, Jonah Hill loves Scorsese and James Franco loves, well, a little bit of everything. Still, no frat pack is complete without a true sports nut, and Montreal-based actor, writer and director Jay Baruchel is nothing short of an obsessive.
By the spring, Baruchel will be responsible for two Goon movies. It's too early to speak for the second, but the first was one of the most endearing Canadian sports comedies of all time (not to mention that he made an appearance in the hockey enforcer doc Ice Guardians earlier this year). Lest you think he's only into frozen sports, however, his love of soccer is on full display in the new documentary Celtic Soul. Directed by Michael McNamara, the film follows Baruchel and his friend, Irish sports journalist (and former Canadian TV personality) Eoin O'Callaghan, as they head out to explore the history of Celtic Football Club.
The film centres on a pilgrimage from Montreal to Ireland to Scotland. Part road trip, part history lesson, the film makes the most of its loose concept as Baruchel and O'Callaghan buddy up and shoot the shit on their journey — think of it like an HGTV travel special with plenty more curse words and cum jokes.
Unfortunately, the laid back feeling that gives the film its breezy character is also its biggest setback. Visiting an historical monument one moment and seeking out Baruchel's ancestral history the next, the film starts to feel a lot longer than its 80-minute runtime.
All is forgiven, though, when the pair finally arrive in Scotland and visit Celtic country. Their excitement is palpable as they visit the team's training camp, and that energy continues through their riveting trip to a proper match.
If you're a giant Celtics fan or simply have a crush on Jay Baruchel, you'll find a lot to love in Celtic Soul. Everyone else may react differently, though the film's loose nature makes it a nice choice for a hungover afternoon on the couch. (Markham Street)