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The Winning Season
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Quite subtle, no catch phrases, no fat kid or Tatum O'Neal cracking wise, just good acting all around. Some profanity and sexual references, but they seem fitting, not gratuitous. Rockwell's stumbling relations with his daughter dovetail nicely with those with his players, each informing the other. Seemingly formulaic, but not really- this is the way it WOULD happen. No storybook ending, just life happening as it does, with a bunch of people coming to care about each other and the group, each with an enhanced sense of belonging and purpose. MAGIC.
In any case, the whole story is practically a sports cliche and you all know what's going to happen. The rag-tag team will have a few big early losses, then somehow find themselves, then start to win and finally get into the state division title match. Yawn! The somewhat alcoholic coach chooses their overweight lesbian bus driver to be his assistant coach, and the head coach finally manages to get kicked off the team and banned from the school. By this time, of course, he's enthusiastic about girl's basketball and tries everything to get his coaching position back. He coaches the final couple games through a variety of ruses including sending in instructions via the phone. Somehow, it all works and makes for a very enjoyable and exciting movie. Plus, it's very funny in places.
Well, this movie has to be the ultimate in low-cost productions. Everything is minimal. An actual high school serves as the set and there are no fancy design changes. The grounds are as is. There are no action scenes.Read more ›
Of course, it doesn't hurt when the coach in question is the always interesting Sam Rockwell. The eccentric Rockwell is easily one of our more underrated actors, and in "The Winning Season" he employs his hangdog charm to good affect. A former basketball player and coach, Rockwell's volatile temper has reduced him to busboy status at a local Indiana eatery. With no preamble, the film gets him set up on the coach track again--this time spearheading a team of six high school girls in serious need of guidance. He hates the new position, the girls hate him--it's a classic pairing. But before you can say "I've seen it all before," the girls start winning and the team dynamic starts evolving. Not only can the girls learn from Rockwell, but their faith can help restore him--as he is also a hopeless alcoholic with a strained relationship with his own daughter (naturally).
But, for the most part, I went with this tale. Amusing, without being preachy, this slight and familiar romp works on its own merits. The young cast of familiar faces (Emma Roberts, Rooney Mara, Emily Rios, Connor Paolo, Shareeka Epps) are appealing and believable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not going to knock your socks off, but has a cute comeback kid storylinePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
We thought this was going to be one of those feel-good, inspirational sports stories; we couldn't get past the first 30 minutes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Cuthbertson
Didn't fall in love with the characters. Sam Rockwell is no Tom Hanks ( as in" A League of their Own" ).Published 2 months ago by J Lindsey Freeman
good character study for all races and genders.. sam Rockwell is great as usual.Published 3 months ago by michael dove