Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Upside Of Anger

Joan Allen is an amazing actress. I've admired her skill in several movies through the years, but she really stands out as the lead in "The Upside Of Anger." As a mother of four who suddenly finds herself without a spouse, Allen runs the gamut of emotions, and every one is believable. If there's any complaint that can be made about Allen, it's that she is impossibly thin -- but that doesn't stop her from having the most front-and-center talent anyone has seen onscreen in a long time.

Kevin Costner also shines as Denny, the ex-baseball-player turned radio personality, who is obviously but loosely modeled on onetime Tiger pitcher and former WXYT morning man Denny McClain. Although writer-director Mike Binder erred in casting himself as a radio producer (he'd be wise to stay behind the camera), he did include a nice cameo by Detroit radio legend Arthur Penhallow, now into his fourth decade doing afternoon drive on WRIF. One caveat: the ending will have you scratching your head, asking "Why didn't she...how could...etc.?"