We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
I started on newspapers as a sportswriter, covering local high-school teams. That was a long time ago, and I had almost forgotten, until I saw "All the Right Moves," how desperately important every game seemed at the time. When the team members and the fans are all teenagers, and when a school victory reflects in a significant way upon your own feelings of worth, when "We won!" means that we won, a football game can take on aspects of Greek tragedy.
"All the Right Moves" remembers the strength of those feelings, but does not sentimentalize them. The movie stars Tom Cruise (from the current hit "Risky Business") as a high-school football player in a small Pennsylvania mill town where unemployment is a way of life. His ticket out of town is a football scholarship to a good engineering school.
The high-school football coach (Craig T. Nelson) also is looking for a ticket, to an assistant-coaching job in a college. On the night of the big game, these two people get into a position where each one seems to have destroyed the hopes of the other.
The movie plays this conflict against an interesting background. This isn't another high-school movie with pompom girls and funny principals and weirdo chem teachers. The movie gets into the dynamics of the high-school student body and into the tender, complicated relationship between the Cruise character and his girlfriend (Lea Thompson). After all the junk high-school movies in which kids chop each other up, seduce the French teacher and visit whorehouses in Mexico, it is so wonderful to see a movie again that remembers that most teenagers are vulnerable, unsure, sincere and fundamentally decent. The kid, his girlfriend and all of their friends have feelings we can recognize as real.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
At the ripe age of 89, Oscar can still be a notoriously picky fellow when it comes to what constitutes a contender fo...
The RogerEbert.com staff picks for the Oscars.