Very long but always absorbing documentary chronicling the lives of two young African-American high school basketball players and their families. Like the best documentaries of this type, it balances observation of the alien (conveying the sense that the audience is being given access to a particular subculture they aren’t familiar with) with a strong sense of intimacy and pathos (by following, over several years and through unpredictable ups and downs, a collection of characters who are more than willing to open up to the camera). Recommended.
There were lots of parts I liked, but lots I didn’t. I had two main problems. Firstly, Brad Pitt’s character was a total douche most of the time so why would I want to root for him? And secondly, it often felt – in the depictions of time passing, and certain events being alluded to but not shown – that the parts of this family’s story we were actually shown weren’t always the most interesting parts or the parts I would have wanted to have seen. I was amused by Julia Ormond’s character ending up being romantically involved with ALL THREE of the brothers. And James Horner’s music was nice.