The Way Back

First time I use my Alamo Drafthouse season pass for a movie that I coulda just used my A-List on. But it was worth the extra hour of traffic so I could use my bday freebie popcorn and drink (oooh brown sugar lemonade).

When I was in “all the movies!” mentality, of course I was gonna see Batfleck’s new movie. But in the week or two leading up to it, I cooled on the film. It looked pretty generic, and not really worth my time. Then the early buzz started trickling in and Batfleck was getting rave reviews for his performance. See also: freebie popcorn available

Ben Affleck stars as an alcoholic with little to live for until he receives a call from his old high school. They need a new basketball couch. Affleck was once the star of the team, but walked away from the sport as a young adult and never looked back. Could this be the thing that pulls him from the brink? It’s framed as an underdog sports movie, but it’s really just an underdog movie. The sports are secondary. We only get glimpses in to the team and the games, they’re not center stage. Center stage is Affleck.

And yes, that performance he gives truly is worth the hype. It’s so good because it’s so authentic. And it’s authentic because Affleck has lived this. It’s no secret that he’s battled alcoholism and much of the same demons as his character. He brings that personal experience into the film with no reservations and no ego. You truly believe that this man has hit bottom and is sincerely trying to work his way back. The rest of the film is pretty generic, but it’s a good reminder that Affleck is still here. And he’s still fighting.

The Way Back – \m/ \m/ \m/