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Review: The Perfect Game

Knocking it out of the park
By TOM MEEK  |  April 14, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Hokum and maudlin manipulation abound in William Dear’s real-life drama about a team from Monterrey (here depicted as an impoverished Mexican shantytown) that goes on to win the 1957 Little League World Series. The game’s in the books, so no spoiler there — what’s surprising are the poignant undercurrents about race and jingoism.

Cool Papa Bell (Louis Gossett Jr.), a Negro League legend, helps elevate the proceedings above sentimentality as he inspires the underdogs after suffering a humiliating rebuff himself. Clifton Collins Jr., who was flawless as the death-row inmate in Capote, has a lot to carry as the reluctant coach, César, a one-time prospect now facing hard times.

Their road to victory is a bumpy one, but they’ve got an ace in the hole in Jesus, care of a padre played by, of all people, Cheech Marin. It ain’t religion, but the film does knock it over the fence.

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  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Entertainment, Baseball,  More more >
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