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By 2008, more than 25 percent of major league baseball players were born in Latin America. At 19, Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a serious kid from the Dominican Republic, signs with Kansas City. He flies to Phoenix for tryouts and is sent to the Class A team "The Swing" in the fictional town of Bridgetown, Iowa, where he lives with a farm family. Thus begins his odyssey: leaving his mom and girlfriend; living in an alien culture; learning English; overcoming jitters; working hard; achieving early success; navigating friendships, occasional racism, and a woman's mixed signals; dealing with an injury; trying performance-enhancing drugs; and, searching for his place in the world. Will he make it to the Majors; will he play in New York?Written by
What's with the low ratings for this movie? I saw this at the Toronto Film Festival, and people loved it. Is it that some audiences wanted a regular sports movie, with everything leading up to the big game? This follows Dominican ball players and their dreams of making it to the bigs. We go from the Dominican to small town Iowa, then to New York City in a movie that's pitch perfect the whole way. And it got everything right, from how small towns in America watch these young guys grow and progress, to how they're treated like animals when they face injuries or setbacks.
The actors are mostly unknowns, and they give the movie a documentary feel. I especially loved the old couple that takes one ball player in every year, and the minor league baseball manager, who is portrayed very fairly as a guy who pushes his players, but wants to see them make it.
This movie is a home run, pardon the pun, because it transcends the sports genre and becomes a movie about finding one's self worth, no matter where your career path takes you.
I believe that if you want something more from a sports movie than being just a past-time, you'll find it in "Sugar", from the team who directed "Half Nelson", another movie that was more concerned with characters and self-worth over silly plot requirements.
To the low scorers out there I would say don't judge a movie for what it's not, and really look at what it is. Because this is a special movie that never goes wrong.
43 of 48 people found this review helpful.
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