Few sports teams have fans as enthusiastic as those who enjoy, nay, worship Glasgow’s Celtic Football Club. “Celtic Soul,” a new documentary from director Michael McNamara, showcases two soccer supporters as they travel two continents and three countries to make it to see a match in paradise a.k.a. Celtic Park.
“Goon” star Jay Baruchel and sports broadcaster Eoin O’Callaghan began the journey as twitter friends. After two years of chatting 140 characters at a time the pair became friends when O’Callaghan came to Montreal to visit the actor. That turned into the first leg of a journey that would take them from Quebec’s Bell Centre, home ice of the Canadiens, to Dublin’s Croke Park, one of Europe’s largest sports stadiums where they try hurling, a forerunner to hockey.
They will go on to travel across country to Cairnryan, Scotland making their way to Glasgow, home town of the Celtic FC, but first they stop off at Westport, County Mayo to trace Baruchel’s Irish roots.
“Celtic Soul” is, in its soul, a buddy movie. Like all good sports movies it isn’t really about the sport, it’s about a more universal truth. It’s about the where the sport came from, what it means to its fans and why it is part of the fabric of people’s lives. Baruchel and O’Callaghan are welcoming hosts whose infectious enthusiasm gives the documentary the giddy feel of a really good home travel movie. Natural and unaffected, they invite the viewer in, whether they’re a footy fan or not.