As of April 12, the best film of 2023!
While I have to swallow my pride, I never thought I would ever recommend that you see a film directed by Ben Affleck, much less starring him in a supporting role. But this is a great film on multiple levels so do yourself a favor and hunt it down.
It plays like a documentary. It is 1984 and Michael Jordan is about to join the N.B.A. You watch Nike compete with Converse and Adidas to land a contract with him to produce tennis shoes with his name. Nike won ——- the name “Air Jordan” sound familiar?
The film centers on Nike employee Sonny Vaccaro as he attempts to persuade Jordan and his mother Deloris to sign with Nike. Matt Damon is sensational in his role as Sonny. There are multiple powerful scenes as he persuades Phil Knight (Affleck), his boss, to use every dime of Nike’s treasury ($250,000) to convince Jordan to sign.
On top of that, Viola Davis is wonderful playing Deloris. She is as smart as the proverbial whip playing a mom who knows what is financially best for her son. It resulted in Michael making $400,000 a year in shoe sales to this very day.
But what makes this film so much fun are the performances of Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker and Chris Messina. Bateman and Tucker are Nike executives who are both amusing and effective in helping Damon’s Vaccaro smooth over rough edges.
But it is Messina’s David Falk, Jordan’s agent, who steals the movie. The entire audience laughed out loud whenever Messina was on screen, particularly during his hysterically profane telephone tirade. His performance is Oscar worthy.
And speaking of the Oscars, redemption can be found in recognizing Ms. Davis’ performance. She was overlooked last year despite her brilliant leading role in The Woman King, and the Oscars have a chance to overcome their racial guilt by nominating her for helping to make Air a magical real-life documentary.
Always love your reviews, for the critique of the movies as well as your sense of humor. Thanks.