I love a good sports movie, one that has some surprises. I especially love a good sports movie based on a true story. Michael and I both really enjoyed a movie we watched tonight called McFarland USA, starring Kevin Costner.
I don't remember hearing a lot about this movie when it came out. Then again, the last 6 months for me have been pretty stressful and I didn't go to any movies in the theater.
Kevin Costner gives a wonderful performance, but he was really too old to play this part. In some scenes he looks every bit of his 60 years, in others not. Doesn't matter. The script is well-written and the young guys who play the runners all do an excellent job, particularly Carlos Pratts.
I love that McFarland USA is based on a real coach, a man named Jim White who made a huge difference in the lives of his runners.
Kevin Costner is one of the actors that I trust to make watchable movies. There are only a handful of those folks in Hollyweird. Costner has the ability to pick good scripts. I've rarely seen him in a real stinker. (Of course, Dances With Wolves is one of my top ten all-time favorite movies.)
Not all Costner's movies are popular with critics.
Take Black or White, for instance, where he plays a grandfather fighting for custody of his biracial granddaughter. The critics hated the film -- eviscerated it. I read several reviews, dismayed because I thought the premise was interesting. Then I thought well, I am going to rent it anyway, because it's a great idea. It was a mite too long, but it was a good film. It's got a great cast, particularly Octavia Spencer, who was so excellent in The Help. Octavia Spencer rocks it. Her performance is spot-on. Wise, funny, genuine. She should've gotten a Oscar nomination. Jillian Estell, who plays the granddaughter, is also terrific.
One thing I love is seeing kids portrayed on film in a realistic manner, not all cutesy and affected. All the kid actors in both these movies were wonderful.
I will keep an eye out for Costner's movies as long as he keeps acting. I trust him to choose projects that are intelligent and interesting.
And yes, even at his age he's still easy on the eyes...