Trouble with the Curve

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood in “Trouble with the Curve.”

“Trouble with the Curve” is a nice little movie. It is a baseball movie to be enjoyed by baseball fans and non-fans (like me) alike. The best way to describe “Trouble with the Curve,” without giving away too much, is that has a good story populated with top notch actors playing real people.   The story and direction are simple and direct.

“Trouble with the Curve” stars Clint Eastwood as Gus, a craggy old baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves, whose eyesight is failing.  Gus is a tough guy loner who loves his job and refuses to see a specialist after his eye doctor tells him he has macular degeneration.   Eastwood turns down his tough guy persona to somewhere around crotchety, although he does have one scene, in a bar, where he becomes violent.  In a business where aging is not considered an asset, I give Eastwood credit for being willing to play Gus warts and all.  Gus is a tough yet vulnerable and wrinkled old man trying to hang onto the job he loves.

Amy Adams plays Mickey, Gus’ daughter, a successful, hard working lawyer trying to make partner in her Atlanta law firm.   Mickey comes to the aid of her ailing father, who is in denial about his condition, to help him scout baseball players. Adams’ Mickey is adorable, caring and tough.

Ultimately the story is about the relationship between Gus and Mickey.  Eastwood and Adams play off each other perfectly, convincing us that these are two people with a shared past.  The result is that we care about both of these characters.  What more could one ask of a movie?

The supporting cast is also quite good.  Justin Timberlake co-stars as a fellow baseball scout named Johnny, who has a past with Gus.   As in “The Social Network” Timberlake proves to be a fine actor and not just a singer who scored an acting gig.  John Goodman appears in a nice, low key performance as Gus’ boss and friend Pete Klein, who always has Gus’ back.  Timberlake and Goodman, along with the rest of the cast, play convincing characters without doing star turns.

First time director Robert Lorenz has done a credible, workman like job of guiding this film.  The script, by Randy Brown, is a bit predictable in parts but never in a way that would try one’s patience.  As a screenwriting teacher of mine once said, “Give the audience what it wants, but not in the way it is expecting it.”  “Trouble with the Curve” does just that.

“Trouble with the Curve” is playing locally at Regal Union Square Stadium 14, 850 Broadway and at AMC Loews Kips Bay 15, 570 2nd Avenue.

“Trouble with the Curve,” director Robert Lorenz, 2012,

Warner Bros. Pictures, 111 minutes, Rated PG-13

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About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on October 2, 2012, in New and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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