Trouble with the Curve

When I heard about the movie Trouble with the Curve I was excited about watching it for two reasons: I generally like Clint Eastwood, and I genuinely love baseball. The movie did not disappoint. There were definitely predictable parts, but the story was well-told, so anything predictable fit in and enriched the story.

Trouble with the Curve is about a lot more than baseball. It’s also about family relationships and the conflict between working at a good job or working at a job you love. The writing is witty and cohesive, and the acting is excellent. Clint Eastwood is excellent as the old-style, anti-technology scout, Gus. But the real standout is probably Amy Adams as Gus’s daughter Mickey. John Goodman does a good job of portraying Gus’s long-suffering friend Pete, and Justin Timberlake is good as the new scout Johnny.

The pace of the movie might be a little slow for some people, but it seems to mirror the pace of many baseball games. There is a somewhat methodical pace, punctuated by¬†moments of high tension and excitement, and yet the viewer’s interest and attention is held throughout the movie.

Trouble with the Curveis a thoroughly enjoyable, well-made movie, and I would recommend it to anyone, even someone who is not a baseball fan.

When it comes to movies that are labeled as "indy" movies, one sometimes has to be careful. Yes, they often show a unique perspective or tackle an unpopular idea. Sometimes, though, they are tedious and preachy. (The Constant Gardener comes to mind.) Then there are some that are gems. Sunshine Cleaning is one of these. It’s the story of Rose Lorkowski, played by Amy Adams, who needs to raise money to send her son to a private school, so she starts a crime-scene cleaning business with her sister, Norah, played by Emily Blunt.
Both of the girls are initially clueless about what’s involved in cleaning crime scenes. They make quite a few mistakes, and do some things that are plain grotesque. Yet it brings them together. Their father gets involved, mostly as a baby-sitter for Rose’s son. Sunshine Cleaning really is about family, and how they deal with each other while trying to handle problems in their own lives.
Amy Adams does an excellent job of playing a single mother–gone is the wide-eyed naivete that she shows in Enchanted and the effervescent selfishness in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Here she is harassed, embarrassed by her own life, courageous, and sympathetic. Emily Blunt is also excellent as Norah, the younger sister who is always screwing up. She conveys depth and vulnerability without saying much.
I would recommend Sunshine Cleaning to anyone who wants to watch a movie about family and false friends, honesty and courage, and life and death. It is a well-done, enjoyable movie. In fact, I think I’m going to buy it when I get a chance.