Leatherheads

  • Directors: George Clooney
  • Producers: George Clooney, Barbara A Hall, Grant Heslov, Casey Silver, Jeffrey Silver, Sydney Pollack
  • Writers: George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly, Stephen Schiff
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: George Clooney, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Root, Wayne Duvall, Keith Loneker, Robert Baker

Clooney plays Jimmy “Dodge” Connelly, captain of a struggling professional American football team during the 1920s, the Duluth Bulldogs. Dodge is determined to save both his team and pro football in general when the players lose their sponsor and the league is on the brink of collapse. He convinces a college football star, Carter “the Bullet” Rutherford, to join the Bulldogs, hoping to capitalize on Carter’s fame as a decorated hero of the First World War (like Alvin York, he singlehandedly captured a large group of German soldiers).

In addition to his legendary tales of combat heroism, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed and skill on the field. As a result of his presence, both the Bulldogs and pro football in general begin to prosper.

Zellweger provides a romantic interest as Chicago newspaper reporter Lexie Littleton, who becomes the object of the affections of both Dodge and Carter. One knows but the other doesn’t that Lexie has been assigned to find proof that Carter’s war heroics are bogus. Indeed, Carter confesses that the surrender of the Germans was a lucky accident and in no way heroic.

Meanwhile, Dodge’s attempts to legitimize pro football start to backfire, as rules are formalized, taking away much of the improvisational antics that made the game fun for many of its players.

With his own playing career near an end, Dodge gets to play in one last big game. This time it will be against Carter, who has changed sides to the Chicago team. Their rivalry for Lexie’s affection spills over onto the football field for one last day.

Brazil

  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Joseph P Grace
  • Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm

Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a low-level government employee, often daydreaming of saving a beautiful maiden. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error created by a government mishap, causing the incarceration of a Mr. Harry Buttle instead of the suspected terrorist, Harry Tuttle. When Sam visits Mr. Buttle’s widow, he discovers Jill Layton (Kim Greist), the upstairs neighbor of the Buttles, is the same woman as in his dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs. Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has gotten sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist friend of Tuttle for trying to report the mistake of Buttle’s arrest in Tuttle’s place to bureaucrats that would not admit such a mistake. When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for the government but left due to the amount of paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two government workers who are taking their time fixing the broken air conditioning in Sam’s apartment.

However, it is quickly revealed this happy ending is all happening inside Sam’s head when in front of the idyllic scene, two faces come into view staring at the camera, that of Jack and of Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan), who as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information is the system’s highest official we see in the film. What they are looking at, as they now realize, is Sam having become insane at Jack’s hands. Jack gives up trying to torture Sam, and Sam is left with a smile on his face, humming “Brazil” as Jack moves Mr. Helpmann in his wheelchair away from the scene.