SPORTS drama ‘Trouble With The Curve’ marks Clint Eastwood’s return to acting and his first role since 2008’s ‘Gran Torino’.
Clint is Gus Lobel, a veteran baseball star and ageing talent scout for the Atlanta Braves. He is renown and respected for having a keen eye for talent; a quality that is starting to become affected by time as Gus is losing his vision. When he goes on a trip to scout a new prospect, at the request of a concerned co-worker he is joined by his estranged daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams). Also along for the ride is fellow talent scout and former player Johnny ‘The Flame’ Flanagan (Justin Timberlake).
Lobel is classic Eastwood, Clint at his best. He’s a grizzled cynic, full of one-line put downs, with a toughness undiminished by age. Through the use of special effects we see a young Eastwood as Gus in pictures with famous Baseball players and in a flashback scene; the film even opens with Gus having a dream about a horse – no doubt a sly reference to Clint’s early career in westerns.
As the focus is more on the characters than the sport, my minimal knowledge of baseball didn’t distract from the plot. Juggling her relationships with Gus and Flanagan, a failing relationship with her boyfriend and her career as an attorney, at times it feels like Mickey is the centre of the film – she could arguably be considered the ‘main’ character. Amy Adams gets the bulk of the screen time and is very good throughout. Justin Timberlake is also very charming in his role.
‘Trouble With The Curve’ is a delightful feel good film with an ending I particularly enjoyed. If this proves to be Clint Eastwood’s final film appearance, it’s a fitting way to end a legendary career.
By Kelan Headley