Given the dismal display of Sven’s former team this summer, this comic throwback to Sir Alf’s glorious triumph of 40 years ago can’t help but sound a hollow note. Football, though, is only the backdrop for a gentle rites-of-passage story about a nervy Jewish lad (Gregg Sulkin) from north London, dismayed to discover his much-cherished Bar Mitzvah clashes with a certain Cup game.
Shot in rosy hues by director Paul Weiland, this nostalgic tale of crushed innocence ploughs a well-worn furrow, 2003’s cricket-based Wondrous Oblivion being perhaps the closest team-mate. Even for the non-football fan, the snippets of colour footage from England’s Germany-beating performance will feel distressingly brief. But a strong sense of period and a game cast led by Eddie Marsan and Helena Bonham Carter keep the action flowing and squeeze a narrow victory from lower-league material.