My good friend Dr. Mark Cunningham is returning to a practice he had for quite a while– watching a film a day. Although I’m doubtful I can do the same, I’m much more certain that I can recommend a great film every week. Today, begins my efforts. These won’t be Oscar winners, necessarily, because award-winning films aren’t always the best film of the year (which is a post for another day). Nor are they films that people have necessarily ignored. Revenues for award-winning films often increase in the award season. Instead, these are the films I try to suggest when friends, colleagues, and students ask for movies to see over the weekend. Sometimes they’re the films I ‘push’ onto people with the ubiquitous line “You should see this!” Sometimes it ends well (Memento). Sometimes it ends horribly (Requiem for a Dream). And sometimes folks non-verbally tell you , “I’m good. I don’t need your suggestions (30 for 30).”
A movie that you probably missed but shouldn’t is He Got Game. Written and directed by Spike Lee, He Got Game, is a wonderfully astute and heartfelt look at the father-son relationship which plays out (no pun intended) on the basketball court. With a reliably good performance by Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth, He Got Game really soars because of the sublime work of NBA All-Star and Olympian Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttleworth. The wonder of this film occurs most beautifully as the all-American music of Aaron Copland builds and soars and lifts and falls and rests… Watching the film you understand why Lee said, “When I listen to Aaron Copland’s music, I hear America, and basketball is America.”
Don’t miss He Got Game.