The Winning Season (2009)

I watched The Winning Season with no expectations whatsoever. To be honest, I watched it to see Sam Rockwell with red body paint, a blue wig and blue thigts dancing. Anyway, I'm still amazed by how sweet and enjoyable this film was.

Once a successful High School basketball coach, Bill (Sam Rockwell) is now a drunk busboy who has a terrible relationship with his ex-wife (Jessica Hecht) and his teenage daughter Molly (Shana Dowdeswell). A friend (Rob Corddry) who is now a principal offers him to coach the girls' basketball team and Bill has a chance to redeem himself. 

Basically, it's nothing new. It's the typical redemption story mixed with the typical sport/underdog story. It's simple and straightforward, it doesn't have any plot twist and it has many underdeveloped subplots and all the clich├ęs one can possibly think of. 

And yet it's not like the other movies of the genre, the main reason being that The Winning Season kind of makes fun of its genre and it works. The film is engaging, fun and heartwarming and manages to deal with tough and quite depressing themes without becoming a heavy watch. Also, it's never cheesy which always comes with these movies. 

Most of the credits for this film's success go to Sam Rockwell. I'm sure it comes without saying that he is one of the most versatile and greatest actors of his generation but I'm going to say it anyway. This time around, he is a drunken asshole, once again a very unlikable character, but he is such a sweet and adorable mess you can't help but root for him. Even when the character keeps letting you and his team down. Also, he is great at delivery dry humour.

Lionsgate
The supporting cast does a good job too --I particularly liked Emma Roberts who plays one of the girls in the basketball team, but maybe it's because I love her-- and the make the girls come off as realistic-ish and believable character in spite of the poor characterization.

6 comments :

  1. I really liked this film as I found it to be charming and endearing as it features not just Sam Rockwell in one of his finest performances but also standouts from Margo Martindale, Emma Roberts, and Rooney Mara.

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    1. I really liked Emma Roberts too but I always like her.

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  2. I can see myself like this film. Your review makes me really want to see it

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    1. I hope you get to see it, it's really nice.

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  3. This is such a sweet movie. Sam was wonderful in it and oh God that dance! :P

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