The ads, part of Guinness’ overarching “Made of More” campaign, debut ahead of the Rugby World Cup. (Guinness has long sponsored the sport in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.)
Ruby legends Gareth Thomas, the former Wales captain who came out as gay in 2009, and Ashwin Willemse, who escaped the deadly gang life in South Africa for the rugged glory of the pitch, make stirring subjects. Expertly shot by Australian director John Hillcoat, whose experience on gritty action features like The Road and Lawless serves him well here. In less capable hands, the mix of rough-and-tumble rugby action, dramatizations and interviews might feel contrived or too sentimental, but Hillcoat gets the proportions and pacing absolutely right.