Clint Eastwood makes a welcome return to acting following his apparent retirement from the profession after ‘Gran Torino’ four years ago with this drama. It also marks the first time he’s been directed by someone other than himself for nearly 20 years. His director, Robert Lorenz, has worked with him as an assistant for many years though, and clearly takes after Clint’s own classicist style.
He plays, unsurprisingly, a grumpy old man, who’s still working as a baseball scout after so many years, but is losing his sight and finding the skills required for his profession being replaced by statistics and technology. In this regard it bares some similarity to last year’s ‘Moneyball’, but unlike that film, ‘Trouble with the Curve’ doesn’t require you to have any interest in baseball to enjoy it. In fact it’s hardly a sports film at all.
He has a daughter (the wondrous Amy Adams), a high flying city lawyer who’s about to get promoted. They share a troubled past but maintain reasonably regular contact, however he seems uninterested in spending time with her. Clint’s boss and friend (John Goodman) approaches his daughter with his fears that he’ll lose his job come the end of his contract.
The film’s main focus lies on the relationship between the two that develops when she decides to turn up and accompany him as he tries to find the next young baseball star. They make a great dysfunctional father daughter pairing, and easily manage to overcome the unremarkable story.
It might all wrap up nicely in a predictably convenient way, but it’s not overly sentimental. A nice old fashioned crowd pleasing drama.