Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sugar takes a bittersweet look at America’s pastime

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2009 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge AT BAT: Algenis Perez Soto as Miguel
  • AT BAT: Algenis Perez Soto as Miguel

A joke holds that there's no "I" in "team" but there is a "me." The bittersweet baseball drama Sugar endorses that point of view by emphasizing the individual points on the diamond, rather than the unifying power of teamwork. Sugar explores the siren song America's national pastime casts on Third World players, but serves as a study in isolation and not the virtues of the melting pot.

Writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck take eager turns at bat following their 2006 hit Half Nelson. The indie drama earned Ryan Gosling a Best Actor Oscar nomination as a high school teacher with a drug problem. Sugar also presents an alienated character study, but trades the inner city for villages in the Dominican Republic and the towns of Iowa. The progress of aspiring young pitcher Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) provides an intriguing perspective on the American dream, but tends to swing at the same themes again and again.

Continue "Sugar takes a bittersweet look at America's look at America's pastime"

(Photo courtesy Fernando Calzada/Sony Pictures Classics)

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