Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Two points about Trouble with the Curve.

Here is the trailer for the latest film starring — but not directed by — the great Clint Eastwood. As I understand it, Clint had decided to retire from acting, but when his long-time producer, Robert Lorenz, told him he …

Sat, Aug 11, 2012, 16:32

   
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Here is the trailer for the latest film starring — but not directed by — the great Clint Eastwood. As I understand it, Clint had decided to retire from acting, but when his long-time producer, Robert Lorenz, told him he was directing a film about a grumpy old baseball coach making one last tour around the minors, well… It’s got Clint written all over it. Doesn’t it? Amy Adams plays his daughter. The spiffing Justin Timberlake plays a young competitor who, with terrifying inevitability, takes a fancy to Ms Adams.

The trailer really is awfully cheesy. Familiar beats are hammered with deafening force. In truth, it does seem as if Clint is playing exactly the same person he played in the clunky, but delightful, Grand Torino. Look how grizzled I am. Feel my weathered integrity.

Anyway, as the header suggests, there are two points worth making. Firstly, there is no way on earth that Clint is not going to receive an Oscar nomination for this film. He could even win. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix both look like contenders for The Master, but the film might be a little too off-centre. Day-Lewis has already got two statuettes. So he can’t count on a win for Lincoln. Yes, yes. I know there are still six months to go. I just thought it worth noting.

Secondly, isn’t it interesting that the film seems to be positioning itself as the antidote to Moneyball? The best thing about that under-powered baseball drama was the way it cooly contradicted all those stereotypes about inspiration and feeling and instinct. At 1′ 48″ in the Trouble with the Curve promo, Clint actually says the line “A computer can’t tell if a kid’s got instinct.” Moneyball ¬†existed to refute that argument. The thesis was that computers could bypass any outmoded concerns about instinct. Oh well. We always knew Hollywood would return to the old-school, spiritual approach to baseball. They only needed to look at their computers for evidence that the sentimental version sells more tickets. There’s an irony in there somewhere.

Trouble with the Curve should be with us in late November.