O, Sweet Baseball

There's something so optimistic and buoyant about baseball that I can't give up on it, no matter how many times Jose Canseco opens his mouth. Our Texas Rangers are a good case in point. Every time I want to give up on them, something fantastic happens--like Ian Kinsler hitting for the cycle a few weeks ago. The sport is just rife with truly wonderful moments like that, and as a result, it makes for storybook cinema. Consider the roster--Field of Dreams, The Natural, A League of Their Own, Pride of the Yankees--and then add to it with Sugar. Already hailed by festival audiences and critics as the best baseball movie ever made (which, obviously, is saying something), the film from the writing and directing team behind Half Nelson tells the story of a Dominican pitcher struggling to make it into the American big leagues. Avoiding the clichés we all expect from sports-themed movies, this film looks at overarching themes of culture, immigration and what role ambition plays in our lives while still giving us the breathtaking moments that make baseball our national feel-good sport. Sugar plays as part of the Magnolia at the Modern series this weekend with showtimes at 6 and 8:15 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.50 and available onsite at the Modern, 3200 Darnell St. in Fort Worth. Visit themodern.org/magnolia.html.
Fri., May 8, 6 & 8:15 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 5 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 2 & 4:15 p.m., 2009
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Jennifer Elaine-Davis