The Upside of Anger (2005)

I believe that The Upside of Anger was the unsung hero of 2005. I wanted to see the movie during its theatrical run because something about Joan Allen and Kevin Costner pulled me to it. I loved the movie and put it on my top ten list of that year. I even owned the DVD, but all you say may know that I had to sell it to buy food. The two lead gives great performances that they were nominated for Critics’ Choice Awards and nothing else. Shame.

Terry Wolfmeyer (Allen) devolves into a bitter, resentful state when her husband leaves her for his Swedish secretary. She is a complete mess, hanging around the house in her nightgown with a cigarette in one hand and a vodka tonic in the other. She has to care for her four daughters; the uptight college student, Hadley (Alicia Witt); the working girl, Andy (Erika Christensen), the anorexic ballet dancer, Emily (Keri Russell) and the introspective, Popeye (Evan Rachel Wood).

Former baseball player/radio show host Denny Davies (Costner) comes by the house to check up on the girls, because he was a friend of Terry’s husband. He talks to Terry about the proposed neighborhood that would be built in the back of the Wolfmeyer property. Terry doesn’t care anything about the new neighborhood, she wants to drink her troubles away. Denny joins her as drinking buddies, because he is clinging on to his former baseball glory. He is getting pressure from his producer, Shep (Mike Binder) to talk about baseball instead of spewing on about his life. His ratings are suffering.

The relationship between Terry and Denny changes when they start to have a deeper connection than getting hammered. Everybody’s lives will be profoundly affected when relationships are tested and an unexpected discovery happens to them.

I cannot gush more about this movie that I always have. I thought that it was screwed out of some more awards attention. Joan Allen was real and embodied the character. I felt for her as she went through her journey. Costner was in top form playing another former baseball player. You kinda feel like he is typecasted, because he was played a baseball player in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For Love of the Game. I feel like this is the swan song of those characters. Writer/director, Mike Binder probably made the conscious decision to have Costner retire his signature characters.

Judgment: Give this movie a chance, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 8/10

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on May 13, 2011, in 2005, Comedy, Drama, Romantic and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. As a sucker for Costner (and Joan Allen actually) I eagerly watched this but didn’t expect too much. But actually I found myself loving it…and man what an ending huh?

    Glad to see some great praise for it and I like your review. I’ve been meaning to rewatch it and review it for some time, so thanks for the kick in the pants to do so:)

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