The new film about Ronaldo’s life, from some of the same people who made the Ayrton Senna documentary, is now hitting cinema screens.
The new film about Ronaldo had its premiere in London on Monday night, when a slew of stars from football and beyond traipsed down the red carpet atLeicester Square.
They all wore big grins, of course – but then again, they hadn’t paid £10 or more for the privilege of sitting through the movie.
The big question is this, though: is ‘Ronaldo’ worth spending your own money to go and see? Now that all the reviews are in, we’ve rounded-up what the critics thought to help you make that decision.
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Daniel Taylor, The Guardian: “It must be suffocating at times even if, for the most part, Ronaldo gives the impression that fame is his comfort blanket. The film is a remarkable vanity project and, even more than before, it is difficult not to come away with the feeling that Ronaldo must shout his own name during sex… It is not Ronaldo’s talent that stands out the most. It is his competitive courage, his absolute refusal to believe anyone can possibly outdo him and a level of self-obsession that makes one wonder how he will cope now he is approaching the age – two years older than Messi – when the powers gradually start to decline.”
” It is difficult not to come away with the feeling that Ronaldo must shout his own name during sex.”
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Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent: “This is a revealing and often surprising documentary portrait of Portuguese footballing superstar… the most insightful film about the life of a footballer off the pitch since Vikash Dhorasoo’s Substitute. What emerges is the isolation that Ronaldo endures (“most of the time I am alone”) and the discipline that he needs to show: not just in training or playing but in dealing with the fans who swarm around him every time he sets foot in public, asking for autographs and photos.. Ronaldo is unashamed about his vanity, describing it as an essential part of his success [but the film] makes it clear that his wealth and status didn’t come without considerable personal cost.”
“Makes it clear that his wealth and status didn’t come without considerable personal cost.”
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Kevin Maher, The Times: “A grossly uncritical slice of hagiography that spends more than a year in and around the life of the millionaire footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet it can deliver nothing more insightful than: he lives in the present, was lonely when he was young and is a good parent because he loves his son (you’re supposed to love your children; you don’t get brownie points for that).”
” A grossly uncritical slice of hagiography.”
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Alan Tyers, The Daily Telegraph: ” Clearly a man who regards even brushing his teeth as nothing more or less than a chance to show off his perfect hair, sculpted bod and bulging (pay) packet was hardly going to submit to a warts-and-all. And yet, it is testament to the skill of the makers of Ronaldo that, lurking at the edge of the frame, is an insightful and rather sad portrait of addiction, loneliness and a yearning to fill a hole that can never be filled. That isn’t to say that large chunks of it aren’t filled with hootingly ludicrous self-regard… But a picture emerges of a driven, lonely, loyal and rather sympathetic figure striving to distract dad from the drink with all these trophies but, ultimately, knowing that it is too late. See it: you will like, and understand, this great player more.”
” Large chunks of it are filled with hootingly ludicrous self-regard.”
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Wendy Ide, The Guardian: “The film-makers may have been granted unprecedented access to the inner circle of one of the world’s top footballers, Cristiano Ronaldo, but the result, a carefully controlled and meticulously sanitised hagiography, is as airbrushed and groomed as its subject… As such, this is for fans only. Unlike Senna, for example, this is not a film that will interest anyone remotely ambivalent about the sport in question.”
” A carefully controlled and meticulously sanitised hagiography, is as airbrushed and groomed as its subject.”
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Stefan Paper, heyuguys.com: “Ronaldo is too aware of the cameras being on him, epitomised in when he wants to show off his collection of cars and so uses his son to do so, in a contrived game of ‘guess which of daddy’s cars isn’t in the garage’. The poor kid hasn’t got a clue, so a series of naming fancy brands ensues. The best moments in the picture tend not to feature the subject at all, with the intimate interviews with his mother and older brother Hugo. These scenes represent the more fascinating side to this endeavour, away from the match highlights we’ve all seen countless times before… It’s his Brazilian counterpart who would make for a far more intriguing piece of cinema. As the poker-playing, triangular haircutted legend has a story to tell. That’s the doc you really want to see. We’ve got the wrong Ronaldo.”
” We’ve got the wrong Ronaldo.”
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Scott Skinner, 11 magazine: “Ronaldo fails to truly get under the skin of its subject like [Asif] Kapadia’s enthralling portraits [of Ayrton Senna and others] — it feels all too stage managed. The problem may be that [Jorge] Mendes’ influence permeates the whole film. The super agent’s grip on proceedings holds firm — brand CR7 is promoted and protected at all times… In the end, we are left with a film which at its best provides some insight into the intense glare of superstardom — and the solitude that lies within — but all too often fails to reach the heart of its subject.”
” Jorge Mendes’ influence permeates the whole film. ”
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David Parkinson, Radio Times: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a phenomenal footballer, but this frequently cringe-inducing profile by Anthony Wonke aims to make him seem like a demi-god… This air-brushed portrait views sporting action as an adornment and offers no concrete analysis of Ronaldo’s talent, development or contribution to club and country… As much an exercise in showcasing conspicuous wealth as an insight into the man and his achievements, this is a vulgar vanity project that massively misses a unique opportunity.”
” A vulgar vanity project that massively misses a unique opportunity.”
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Alex Young, Goal.com: “This is the life Ronaldo wants us to see. The film, from Bafta-winning director Anthony Wolke whose past credits reveal an interest in far grittier, hard-hitting topics, is whitewashed of possible scandal and true intrigue… If nothing else, this documentary portrays an athlete, undeniably at the top of his game, who flatly refuses to accept anything less than perfection. Just make sure no one says anything negative.”