After having worked alongside Clint Eastwood since 1995 either as an assistant director, a producer or executive producer, Robert Lorenz finally takes the director’s position himself in his latest film Trouble with the Curve.

Starring Eastwood, the film is the first time he is in front of camera and not directing since Wolfgang Petersen’s film In the Line of Fire in 1993. Besides him, the film also features Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman. Trouble with the Curve takes a look behind the curtains of the baseball industry and uses it as an environment to examine the tensions within a family and their subsequent reconciliation.

Written by first-time screenwriter Randy Brown, the plot is not complicated. As his vision slowly deteriorates and with only three months left on his contract, Atlanta Braves scout Gus Lobel (Eastwood) travels for North Carolina to check out a potential player. In the meantime, at the request of his friend and co-worker Pete (John Goodman), Gus’s workaholic lawyer daughter Mickey (Adams) takes a few days off work to help her father despite he has neglected her as a child. However, another scout is sent to the games without Gus’s knowledge in case his makes a mistake because of his ailments. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake makes an appearance as Johnny – a simple love interest for Mickey, different and a lot more sincere from the corporate types in her world of lawyers.

…visually it is light and well-suited to tell the story without distractions…

With its plot based on the relationship between Mickey and Gus, the film makes an unlikely but enjoyable father-daughter couple from Eastwood and Adams. As the story goes on, we find out they are a lot like each other than they think. At first the reason why they have grown apart is not clear and it looks their tense relationship is simply due to their respective tempers and priorities. This is revealed towards the end of the film but by then it does not seem to matter for the audience any more.

Although it focuses more on the plot, visually it is light and well-suited to tell the story without distractions. The exchanges between Gus and Mickey as they argue while at the games make them even more likable to the viewers. The rest of the characters like Johnny and Pete are simple and appear briefly but it seems appropriate since the driving storyline is that of Gus and Mickey.

…he still can deliver a great performance…

Trouble with the Curve tells a simple story in a simple but effective way. Its plot about a daughter and her estranged father, set against the background of the most popular American sports of all – baseball, quietly touches the audience with the sincerity of its narrative. Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood manage to capture at first the tension between the two and then the gradual recovery of their relationship as they become close again. Even though he is not directing, Eastwood proves that he still can deliver a great performance and Adams shows she is a good match for him.

3.5 Stars

 

 

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My main interests include film/contemporary art/visual culture, which is on what I mainly concentrate when writing and in my spare time.

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