one of the best sports movies of all-time. obviously the film is about more than sports, it’s mostly about a post-high school group of townies trying to find their identity and worth in a college town that once was defined by its industry. like most great films the thing that sets it apart is its (oscar-winning) screenplay. the backdrop of a city in flux, the rounded, vibrant and human characters, the balance of action, drama and comedy, etc. all make for a more fulfilling experience. the performers, most of them relatively unknown at the time, are all up the the task.
one element that really put the film over the top was the score. it moved the film along very well and elevated the emotions of the picture without force. quite well done.
it’s a film that can be funny and heartbreaking in equal measure and efficacy. when the optimistic protagonist says to his father “everybody cheats, i just didn’t know that,” we ache because it hammers home the loss of innocence that takes place in the previous scene. it’s heartbreaking to be reminded of the fact that we all once felt the world was fair, equitable and just. in spite of this, though, the protagonists fight the good fight and we live vicariously through them in their victory. it’s a good example of a common film done uncommonly well and that’s often the best kind of film, but the hardest to write about. it’s like watching joe montana – he’s great because he just is. he does everything he’s supposed to do, but he does it really really well and he does it consistently. there’s not much flash to this film, it’s easy to overlook, but you’d be remiss if you did.