Friday, May 1, 2009

SUGAR

by Tobias

> view trailer

Director duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s SUGAR would be boilerplate sport-film uplift if not for their classy and honest lyricism. These filmmakers have a real gift for writing interesting and charismatic characters that are easy to empathize with.

SUGAR is an affective portrait of a Dominican boy’s coming-of-age within the ultra-competitive world of U.S. pro baseball. It successfully commingles the kitchen-sink realism of the filmmakers’ early documentary work with the poetic style of their previous feature HALF NELSON (2006). It functions as the story of an immigrant’s experience as well as it does a baseball drama. Unlike the idealized sports fare Hollywood dishes out each year, this movie depicts the successes and disappointments of its protagonist with a poignant degree of truth.

First time actor Algenis Perez Soto's amazingly natural performance as 'Sugar' Santos painstakingly charts the emotional journey of a young man adapting to life in a strange land at a ridiculously high-pressure sport. Already one of the best films I've seen this year.

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