Friday, January 23, 2009

Bull Durham

Bull Durham; Comedy, USA, 1988; D: Ron Shelton, S: Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Trey Wilson

'Bull Durham' is a baseball league that has more defeats than wins, but has a vital pitcher called Laloosh who throws balls with thundering speed. But he isn't especially bright so Crash Davis is hired to coach and educate him, which he does. Annie Savoy, a English teacher, is constantly passing through the club in order to get Laloosh and Davis in bed. Only Laloosh agrees while Davis isn't especially interested. Then suddenly the league starts to win game after game and Laloosh refuses to sleep with Annie because he is afraid it brings bad luck. The league looses but he gets an offer to enter an A-league. Davis gets fired but gains Annie's heart.

Ron Shelton is a fan of all sports and he made two movies about baseball, excellent serious drama "Cobb" and good serious comedy "Bull Durham". Baseball is a linear sport and he managed to make it look more interesting than it is, whereas he convincingly connected the relationships of the characters, which is why his amusing screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and actually won the New York Film Critics Circle Award. But the real star is not the sport, but excellent Susan Sarandon - nominated for a Golden Globe - who in a bitter-sweet way plays the unusual Annie. Quite amusing are the scenes like the one where a rival player defeats 'Durham Bulls' in a game and the baseball ironically hits the poster of a bull or the one where Costner's Davis and Robbins' Laloosh are fighting over Annie, yet the story quickly starts to loose energy half way while the ending is rather shaky.


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