Is the film festival getting better, have I become a easy grader, or am I serendipitously picking the best movies? Whichever, or a combination of the above, I’ve had another superlative day!
I began the day with Underdogs, the based-on-real-events tale of a small-town American high school football team and the inventor father of the quarterback. I’ve seen this movie half a dozen times, at least. Different sport perhaps—“Hoosiers,” “Breaking Away” “The Blind Side”—but each scores high on the emotional uplift scale. “Underdogs” was no exception. Filmed in Canton, Ohio, it’s my pick for the Local Heroes award.
Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself is an exciting and often hilarious look at the man, though a disappointment to his family perhaps (expelled from Exeter weeks before his graduating), who became the friend of presidents, host to the most important literary figures of his time, co-founder of The Paris Review, and amateur . . . you name it. A life well lived.
Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story—who knew? As a child, Ungerer lived through the German occupation of Alsace, an experience that influenced his work throughout his long career. The creator of “Crictor,” the delightfully illustrated story about a boa constrictor who captures a burglar and changed children’s literature forever, Ungerer turned his creativity to stunning political posters (against the Vietnam war) and erotica, which eventually led to the banning of his books. With his reputation rehabilitated, Ungerer continues his creative output . . . in Ireland.