Friday Night Lights


American Football. Fat fellas in silly costumes who interrupt the ads, right? Maybe so for the Superbowl, but Friday Night Lights shaky-zooms in on the gutsy glory-hunt of the high school gridiron with moving, if flabby, results. Helmer Peter Berg wields his unsteadicam like the swot at Tony Scott School, meshing together the in-game mud and thunder and locker-room bluster with whiplash pans and near-subliminal blink-edits. He pings key emotional hotspots, but never quite burrows to the core of an over-inflated back-story: the team can achieve redemption by winning the State championship which they've won five times in a row anyway... Still, there's a soulful turn from Billy Bob Thornton as the over-burdened coach and the scene where parting elders lob the pigskin to the upstarts is a glorious parting sucker-punch.

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