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January 03, 2013

Estranged Family Gets Sports Fix in 'Trouble With The Curve'

by Alan Silverman

Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood finds a new curmudgeon to play in a film set behind the scenes of professional baseball. 

In Trouble With The Curve, Gus Lobel knows more about scouting new talent for baseball teams than anyone else in the business; but his failing eyesight and old-fashioned attitudes may end his storied career.


"You're talking about one of the best scouts baseball has ever seen," the character Pete tells the team manager.

"With all due respect, Pete, the game has changed. We need somebody to keep up with the times," the manager responds. "Gus couldn't even turn on a typewriter, let alone a computer. Look, we all hate to think it, but he may be ready for pasture [retirement]."



Thanks to a longtime ally in the front office, Gus has one more chance to prove his value; but he is surprised when his daughter Mickey, an attorney, shows up on the scouting trip.

Director Robert Lorenz says fixing that strained family relationship is at the heart of "Trouble With the Curve."

Clint Eastwood and director Robert Lorenz in "Trouble With The Curve" (Photo: by Keith Bernstein – © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
​​​​"It is definitely a relationship movie set in the world of baseball. It's a move with classic themes that everyone can enjoy. It's things that you're familiar with, yet we visit them in a fresh and original way," Lorenz explains.

Clint Eastwood, now 82, said he was done acting after 2008's Gran Torino. But he is back on screen in the starring role and, for the first time in almost two decades, not also directing the film.

"After Gran Torino" I thought it's just kind of stupid to be doing both jobs," Eastwood says.  "I've only been doing it for 40-some years and I thought maybe I should just do one or the other to allow myself a bit of a comfort zone."

Amy Adams in a scene from "Trouble With The Curve" (Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
​​Amy Adams co-stars as daughter Mickey.

"This was a lot of fun playing a contemporary character …someone I could have been friends with [and] has a lot of the same issues that I have. So that was a great challenge because I felt really exposed and vulnerable playing someone so similar to myself, but at the same time [it was] a great opportunity to explore a father-daughter relationship. You don't see that a lot in films," Adams notes.

Trouble With The Curve is the first produced screenplay by writer Randy Brown. The cast features Justin Timberlake as a young scout who becomes part of Mickey and Gus's lives. John Goodman plays the team executive concerned for his aging friend.