Ben Affleck directs Matt Damon, himself and Viola Davis in this corporate drama based on the true story of Nike’s unlikely attempt to build a basketball shoe brand around one reticent but promising rookie player.
Very much in the Aaron Sorkin / Cameron Crowe mode of intelligent people talking, arguing, persuading and selling. Every scene feels integral but have enough quirky, unpredictable treasure lurking within to switch your expectations around. It really works – buzzing with lots of people working at cross purposes to reach a common goal. And is genuinely, every scene lands a laugh, silly. Especially Affleck’s slyly self abasing take on Nike head honcho Phil Knight. This is a movie where the undercut is king. Damon gets his juiciest role in years – the morons who still equate him with Team America memes might struggle to see him out Pacino Al himself in two Five Star monologues. And Viola Davis adds real inflection and purpose to her big pages. These are the kinda acting turns Oscar voters should remember in 11 months time. A perfect ensemble in a very funny film that manages to convert business deals into personal triumph, show how there is creativity, victory and greatness in both the mundane and the grind. Keeping Michael Jordan himself a kinda spectre on the periphery works beautifully. The soundtrack is era appropriate banger after banger. One of the best comedies in years. Joyously middle aged.
Perfect Double Bill: Finding the Way Back (2020)
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