THE WINNING SEASON
This whimsical period piece is a valentine to America’s favorite past-time and a fun time-travel fantasy. Pittsburgh, 1985: 11-year old Joe Soshack (Mark Rendall) doesn't mind doing odd jobs for an elderly neighbor named Mandy (Jackie Burroughs) but he hates the constant scrapping of his folks over bills. The son of a baseball fanatic, Joe tries to play the game but but when he folds under pressure on the field, the kid feels like a wash-out. One day when taking out the garbage for Mandy, Joe finds a valuable Honus Wagner cigarette card in the trash from a lot that was manufactured but never sold. Joe’s decision not to share the wealth with the card’s owner upsets his honest parents, which prompts him to run away from home. Joe stumbles into a shed and is magically transported back to 1909 as an adult. The now grown-up Joe (Shawn Hatosy) views the 1909 World Series as an opportunity to increase his sports card’s value with an autograph. Joe tags along after the iconic Wagner (Matthew Modine). Amazed by Honus’ sense of abnegation, Joe bonds with the humble athlete who values honor above commerce. Although madly in love with his fiancée Mandy Henton (Kristin Davis), Honus refuses to cave into her parents’ pressure to endorse a cigarette card bearing his likeness because he doesn’t approve of smoking. The baseball player's fiercest rival Ty Cobb (William Lee Scott) steals Joe’s card and orders him to shanghai Honus from the big game. If Joe betrays his friend, he may never find a way back to 1985.
Smoothly adapted by Steve Bloom from Dan Gutman’s novel, this take-me-out-to-the-ball-game fable addresses the multiple meanings of selling out. Although the two actors portraying Joe smile through their tears a tad too much, Modine and Davis embody All-American virtuousness without the corniness.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: PG
- Review: THE WINNING SEASON This whimsical period piece is a valentine to America’s favorite past-time and a fun time-travel fantasy. Pittsburgh, 1985: 11-year old Joe Soshack (Mark Rendall) doesn't mind doing odd jobs for an elderly neighbor named Mandy (Jackie B… (more)