Thursday, September 22, 2011

Movie Reviewed - The Winning Season

I'm kind of a sucker for Sam Rockwell. He seems to do so well in every role he has, and does especially well when his character is some kind of sinner. Choke was strange, but entertaining. People will look at the lineup for Matchstick Men and deride it because of Nicolas Cage, but Sam Rockwell does fantastically well, and actually, Cage does a very good job as well. The Green Mile was fantastic all around, and Rockwell was as good as anybody.

As I've done with several other actors, I went through Netflix's instantly available movies and added anything that looked interesting and had Rockwell, and The Winning Season was on the list. So, even though my brother chided me for watching it instead of Iron Man 2 (which I've also seen in the meantime), I decided to kill some time one afternoon at work and watch this film.

The basic story is pretty straightforward: Sam Rockwell is a drunk who used to play basketball. An old friend offers him a job coaching the girl's team at his old high school. Once you get past the ludicrous idea that a girl's varsity team would have an independent coach, the plot carries alright. Rockwell does a great job of portraying a guy who you could believe has a good heart, but is buried under the demons of his past.

The progression of the movie is predictable, but sometimes that just means that you get a standard feeling of satisfaction at each turn. Early troubles, moment of clarity, small successes, obstacles, overcoming them, new and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, redemption, etc etc. It's completely unsurprising, but it's pretty well-written and very well-acted, so I wasn't bothered by that. Though, truthfully, I'm not someone who gets bothered by predictability very often.

I laughed more than a couple times at the film, and Emma Roberts is cute in a "man I wish I was still in high school" kind of way...as she so often is. And Sam Rockwell is very good, as he so often is. I'm glad I watched it...about as glad as I am that I watched Iron Man 2.

The Last Word: I don't know if I'd say it's a must-watch, but if you're bored and in mixed company, you could do a lot worse.

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