Marco Montes is a basketball coach who works as second trainer of an important team of ACB (Spanish basketball national league), but in reality he is burned inside himself in his professional life as well as personal life, turning him in an arrogant and bad-mannered man. During an ACB's game, a discussion with the first trainer causes an incident and he's fired out from the stadium. Just later Marco, completely drunk, crashes unwillingly his car against a police car, being arrested. In the trial the judge makes Marco to decide: go to the jail for 2 years or passing 90 days making community services. Reluctant, Marco is forced to training a basketball team called "Los Amigos" (The Friends) formed by the mentally disabled players Manuel, Paquito, Jesús, Sergio, Fabián, Juanma, Benito, Marin and Collantes, and helped by old Julio, social center's director where they meet. At the same time that Marco tries to save his marriage with Sonia, a woman tired of his excuses about to have a child that she wants it at any cost, Marco meets them and he starts training them, but troubles increases after Julio tells him that Los Amigos has been accepted to participate in the Paralympic national league's competition. Noticing of all difficulties to get a team capable to win the league, Marco feels frustrated, and the relation with Sonia suffers. Therefore, the lighthearted of the team and their natural goodness make that Marco questions not only is life situation, but the way he behaves with people and the real things. With the unexpected help of own Sonia, Marco finds himself looking for redemption, and looking to turn Los Amigos in the champions that he knows all they are.
Javier Gutiérrez (Marco), Athenea Mata (Sonia), Juan Margallo (Julio), José de Luna (Juanma), Sergio Olmo (Sergio), Jesús Vidal (Marín), Gloria Ramos (Collantes), Alberto Nieto Ferrández (Benito), Julio Fernández (Fabián), Jesús Lago (Jesús (as Jesús Lago Solís)), Fran Fuentes (Paquito), Roberto Chinchilla (Román), Stefan López (Manuel), Luisa Gavasa (Amparo), Luis Bermejo (Compañero de Sonia), Daniel Freire (Carrascosa), Mariano Llorente (Iván), Laura Barba (Jueza), Vicente Gil (Jefe de Benito), Itziar Castro (Madre de Jesús), Yiyo Alonso (Abogado de Marco), Chani Martín (Conductor autobús Cuenca), Waldemar Vidalón (Walter), Rocío Marín (Madre autobús Cuenca), Edna Fontana (Señora autobús Cuenca), José Manuel Martín (Señor autobús Cuenca (as Jose Manuel Martín)), Pedro Civera (Presidente CB Estudiantes), Álvaro Arechavala (Camarero Bar Kiss), Jorge Galerón (Camarero Casa Yepes), Carlos Drake (Camarero Bar Nieves), Jorge Juan Núñez (Jefe de Sergio), Claudia Fesser (Recepcionista Hotel (as Claudia Fesser Losantos)), Andrea Esteban (Policía 1), Luis Fernández Lago (Policía 2), Ana Martínez Fesser (Monja), Javier Fernández (Fiscal), Eva Yuste (Secretaria Juzgado (as Eva Yuste Ocaña)), Javier Fesser (Periodista (as Javier Fesser Losantos)), Zen García Mata (Niño autobús Cuenca), Pedro Fernández (Jugador patada Collantes (as Pedro Fernández Jareño))...
This tender and beautifully made movie is quite obvious and predictable. But it is worth to sacrifice originality when your goal is to focus in the moral message. And this movie has a strong an powerful moral message, so overwhelming that it makes you feel almost like in a church listening a sermon of an old and good hearted priest. It is like 2 hours of visual Aesop greek fables where the characters, instead of animals, are archetypical humans. The most important critic is to our own Spanish history: the National Basketball team cheated in the Paralympic Games of Sydney 2000, because 10 out of 12 of our basketball players did not have any mental disability. They won the gold medal, but they had to return it afterwards. Also the film showcases the extraordinary negative consequences of hyper protective parenthood in raising narcissistic people, completely immature in their 30s an 40s to the point that they can not endure the risks and challenges of sustaining a relationship, facing rejection or creating a family. Specially consistent during the whole film is the critic to our society, based in success over experience, performance over playfulness, fitness over kindness, dominance over community. Finally, the most subtle but powerful subversive message in the movie is questioning to which extent are sick and poisoned the people that consider ourselves "normal". Much of our "normality" might be counter productive, to the point to make us too rigid, cold hearted and stressed because of our own insane standards. All the special basketball players of this special team show us that most of the times it's ok to look silly, to do something stupid or to fail constantly, because they still have each other. So many of us can not say the same.
This movie is such a nice, entertaining, sweet and tender way of reflecting about all these moral values. It's been selected to compete for the Oscar to the best foreign film, but honestly I think they have no chance. We are still too much into an Instagram Age to take a movie like this one seriously.
8 wins & 27 nominations
Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain • Feroz Awards, ES • Fotogramas de Plata • Goya Awards • José María Forqué Awards • Miami Film Festival • Palm Springs International Film Festival • Santa Barbara International Film Festival • Seattle International Film Festival • Spanish Actors Union
Campeones ((original title); Spain) • Wir sind Champions (Germany) • Champions (France; World-wide (English title))
France:Tous publics / Spain:7 / Spain:A / Switzerland:8
singing in a car, singing on a bus, singing in an rv, singing on airplane, basketball, husband wife conflict, husband wife relationship, mentally challenged, mentally disabled, reference to the paralympics, reference to real madrid, mother son relationship, basketball coach, basketball match, bus ride, loss of job, female judge, crashing into a police car, crashing into a parked police car, shoving, disabled athlete, adult living with parents, adult living with mother, adult son lives with mother, shower scene, hugging one's friend, shower with clothes on, fear of water, aquaphobia, elevator, fear of elevators, mongoloid, mother slaps son, drunk driving, bare chested male
15,848 movies | 9,958 in HiDef | 249 of TOP#250 | 15,848 posters | 84,648 photos | 210,018 biographies