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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Macon-based film charms audience

One of Warner Brothers’ newest feature films, “Trouble with the Curve,” came to theaters in September with mixed reviews. Starring Hollywood favorites such as Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake, this drama proved to be predictable yet charming in its simplicity. Director Robert Lorenz, a fellow producer with Eastwood, commented that the story is fairly simple and straightforward, but it is the simplicity that makes it successful.
The story centers on the career of Gus Lobel (Eastwood), the most respected baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. His abilities are questioned as coworkers consider him past his prime. Despite various physical ailments hindering his daily life, Gus refuses to let anything slow him down.
The story progresses to uncover his dysfunctional relationship with his daughter Mickey, played by Adams. Eastwood’s awkward and gruff persona combined with Adams’ sharp and charming character made for easy chemistry while portraying, with genuine humanity and feeling, an often clichéd relationship between a distant father and an unloved daughter.
The story would not be complete without the baseball scout love interest, Johnny (Timberlake), adding much-needed comedic relief to contrast the drama. There was an emphasis on family sacrifice and ultimate victory of the underdog, which gave the audience satisfaction at the story’s conclusion.
The production began in March of this year and was filmed in various parts of Georgia, including Macon. Casting agents began looking for local extras in February. The production team filmed one of the ballpark scenes at Luther Williams Field and a bar scene at Northside Cheers on Northside Drive.
“Trouble with the Curve” is not the only movie to have come to the Macon baseball field. The Hollywood feature “42”, about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is set to premiere in April. Scenes from “42” were shot not only at Luther Williams Field, but also around downtown and other parts of middle Georgia.
Georgia has become a hotspot for moviemakers because of the tax incentive, which is one of the most generous film incentives worldwide. The bill keeps a 20 percent tax credit for qualified production companies and an additional 10 percent if there is anything in the film encouraging Georgia tourism. The other Georgia locations for “Trouble with the Curve” include Atlanta (Virginia-Highlands), Turner Field, Dawsonville, Young Harris College and Athens.
With a failed attempt to avoid overused baseball metaphors, the movie was neither a grand slam nor a strikeout. It was an easygoing and unsurprising film that is more suited for an older audience than college students, despite its youthful athletic setting. While it is not a standout sports drama, it does provide successful entertainment and a well-told story.


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