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Archive for the ‘Justin Timberlake’ Category

Trouble With The Curve

09 Oct

Trouble With The Curve – directed by Robert Lorenz. Sports Drama. A blind baseball scout is helped by his estranged daughter to scope out a heavy hitter on a high school team. 111 minutes Color 2012.
★★★★
Clint Eastwood plays the same grouch he has played from the beginning of his career in films, which began in his mid-30s, and now, at over 80, he is still swinging on that star. He walks good. He talks bad, like tea through a teabag. This gives a strain to his utterance which is a stand-in for dramatic grasp. But there is no doubt in the world that of this he is a master. So we watch him to see if something will happen. Will he break through? No. A creature of unerring solitude, he will stalk on. Well, if that’s what you want to do, okay. “I’ll take the bus,” is his last sardonic snap in this piece, and we understand his crankiness perfectly. The presence of him before us with all his wattles intact is without question impressive, as though Yosemite itself had walked before us. He seems always to have a perfect right to be here. So there is hardly a chance to question his ability to exercise that right, so we must say nothing about his craft or whether at 80-something he would have a child of 30-something, with the past history with her the film describes. For anyhow, the film lies more in the capable hands of Amy Adams, an actor of considerable range of character, if you consider her ditsy dame in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, the stern consort in The Master, and the striving ally of The Fighter. It’s a very good part for her, as she confronts and cooperates with a father who had abandoned her. The baseball stuff is quite arresting, as it was in Moneyball, and she plays one who is a master at it. She plays off her encyclopedic memory of it against her new swain, played with considerable interest by Justin Timberlake, as a man willing to wait for her to come in from the outfield. There’s a lot of fun to be had watching the three of them carry on in local Southern saloons. Adams has virtuoso hair, such that she can appear to be a glamor pus in one scene and a legal eagle in the next, for, as with certain actors such as herself and Sean Penn, the hair is the first character choice to be made. She invites a lot of attention as we watch Eastwood refuse to court her and Timberlake refuse not to court her. Eastwood produced this piece, and his usual staff were on hand to edit it and bring it forward before and after, so it has a coherence unusual in modern films, and its director gives his actors lots of latitude and lots of space around them for us to settle in with them. Eastwood has frequently played in and directed stories in which an older absent father has had to face off with a difficult daughter or daughter figure, and this one offers no surprises, except that in this one the daughter is the preeminent figure. The twist at the end with the pitcher is neat. I like that pitcher a lot. John Goodman is also with us, an always welcome person, is he not? What is the story here, and why is it good? It has to do with the truth being jeopardized and eventually breaking through. I like stories like that.

 
 
 
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