Archives for posts with tag: sports movies

Hollywood likes bundling a bunch of good-looking teenageish boys for movies about Texas football because it checks off boxes in a whole bunch of marketing demographics. The latest installment of inspiring underdog gridiron mediocrity is “12 Mighty Orphans” (2021). Based on a true story (aren’t they all?), this heartwarming tale of Dust Bowl grit, determination and long speeches by Luke Wilson introduces us to a Fort Worth children’s home that captured a Depression-era nation’s attention. The filmmakers inject it with the typical melodramatic steroids of teenage hijinks and overbaked subplots. Still, it’s worth waiting for the mini-bios during the credits.

There’s a long history of films that take place in quaint UK or Irish villages full of quirky characters brought together by something that interrupts their otherwise ordinary lives. “Dream Horse” (2021) strides boldly within that lane like an even-money favorite. Based on a true story, Toni Collette plays a Welsh woman who decides on a whim to purchase and breed a racehorse. A syndicate of townsfolk is formed to pay for the upbringing of the resulting foal. Scrappy underdog hijinks ensue. Some of the characters are cliche and some of the drama is melo, but it’ll warm your heart.

It starts out sad and gets more depressing from there. Yet there’s something compelling about “The Art of Racing in the Rain” (2019). As hypnotic as a puppy’s gaze, it sinks its teeth into you and will not release until it makes good on its unspoken aim: You will cry. Narrated by Kevin Costner, the golden retriever of American actors, it’s a dogography steeped in mysticism, tracing the life of Enzo from the moment he meets his race-car-driving, chronically unlucky Job of a human until the two take one last, precious, lap around the track. And, perhaps, beyond. Good boy.