Starring: Brian Clough, Peter Taylor, Jimmy Gordon
Director: Jonny Owen
Running Time: 104 mins
I Believe In Miracles is a British documentary about the rise of Nottingham Forest football club from relative obscurity to continental success throughout the 1970s and ’80s, principally under the management of club legend Brian Clough.
The incredible story of Nottingham Forest’s rise to success throughout the 1970s and ’80s is testament not only to the legendary management skills of Brian Clough, but also a team that dug deep through thick and thin to do the impossible, their back-to-back triumphs in the European Cup of 1979 and 1980 standing as one of the greatest achievements in the history of English football.
An amazing story like that deserves to be told on film, and I Believe In Miracles is without doubt a comprehensive look at the development of the Nottingham Forest team over the course of the 1970s, from what’s presented as a bit of a motley crew to a disciplined and groundbreaking squad, brought to life under its manager and with its range of talented stars on the pitch.
But while the true story of Forest’s road to glory is undoubtedly enthralling and inspiring, this documentary isn’t exactly as moving as that. A fairly run-of-the-mill documentary that relies heavily on talking heads, there are times when I Believe In Miracles feels like the kind of film that you’d see being shown on the walls of the Nottingham Forest club museum, rather than a feature-length documentary to sink your teeth into.
Again, it’s a comprehensive account of an amazing period in the history of the legendary club, but it’s more a chronological detailing of simply what happened and why, without delving deeper into the individual stories that made this success happen. And that’s why this film, while telling a different story, feels inferior to other movies detailing important developments in English football, such as United, about the Munich Air Disaster, and of course The Damned United, also about Brian Clough.
Both of those theatrical films combine their riveting historical account of what happened with enthralling emotional depth – making for a far more captivating experience than this documentary, which is factually engaging, but that’s about it. So, that’s why I’m giving I Believe In Miracles a 7.1 overall.