Friday 05 June 2009
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's first film, Half Nelson, explored the life of a high-school teacher addicted to crack.
Their second puts a heavy spin on the American baseball movie, taking as its subject young hopeful Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto), whose "million dollar" pitching arm takes him from his impoverished home in the Dominican Republic to top flight baseball in prosperous bible-belt Iowa. The film is compassionately aware of the abyss over which Sugar's career unfolds – his loneliness in the US, his awareness of his family's financial dependence back home, the constant threat of injury or loss of form – yet the story's slow-burn never quite flares into dramatic wildfire. Soto, with his disarming smile and liquid eyes, has real presence, and makes us feel the dreadful pressure of carrying so many expectations. Yet one always senses the film as an illustration, a Third World case study, rather than individualised as a boy's own life.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account