By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

I haven’t seen Clint Eastwood act in a film for a while.  I think the last one was MILLION DOLLAR BABY, which was outstanding.  Aside from the fact that I don’t agree with his politics, he is a great actor and director.  Although I don’t like all of his films, they are directed well and wonderfully made.  Here Eastwood plays Gus an ailing baseball scout in his twilight years who takes his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams) along for one last recruiting trip.

Gus is a cantankerous old man whose wife died years before and left him with a young daughter whom he never is able to connect with and decides to send her off to live with other family members instead of taking on the responsibility himself.  Consequently, Mickey is estranged from her father but longs for his approval, acceptance and love.  In a way she forces him to let her help even though he argues with her every step of the way.  This film is well written, acted and transports the viewer to middle America where most people who are involved in high school baseball live.  The characters have depth and it is difficult not to care about their plight. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Justin Timberlake’s wonderful portrayal as Johnny, a young but washed up baseball player trying to find work as a scout or sports broadcaster who crosses paths with Gus and Mickey.  I must say that Timberlake has come a long way in his acting career, and I have loved every part I have seen him portray.  He is definitely on his way to be an acting superstar.

This film works on all levels even if baseball is not someone’s cup of tea, because it is simply a well written and acted drama and I would recommend it to anyone.

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