WOW! I love being surprised in the movies! I am neither a Kevin Costner or a football fan and only went to see this movie because of the 3 new films opening today this was the closest and most convenient. I now like Kevin Costner who plays the underdog , the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny Weaver, Jr., and though I still don’t like football I did learn what “Draft Day” is and some of how it works.
This is an excellent film about what goes on in the backroom of a big business and there are so many things to talk about the positives so in no particular order, and Costner’s performance a given and hoping he is remembered at awards time here we go.
The director, Ivan Reitman, and his director of photography Eric Steelberg, use a split screen technique that is used to a great advantage, in ways I haven’t seen before, and not overused. The screenplay, written by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, is sharp with many funny lines especially one by Jennifer Garner about football players and teams all desiring a piece of jewelry.
The acting from Garner, as Ali, Costner’s pregnant girlfriend who is one of the team’s financial executives, have two scenes in a storeroom that are very effective. With all the good acting by Ellen Burstyn as his mother, Frank Langella as his boss, Dennis Leary as the coach of the team, along with Josh Callahan, Chadwick, Tom Welling and Arian Foster as football players and pawns in the draft along with real life sports announcers, commissioners and former players add to the believable story and has you think ‘it is based on true story, but it isn’t.
One outstanding actor, among all these veterans, deserves his own paragraph is Griffin Newman as Rick the new intern for Ali. The writers gave him great lines and the director did a good job but Newman has an innate talent to put these lines over to bring smiles to your face.
Along with a moving love story, relationships stories and the football behind the scenes drama there is also the sparkling shots of the 7 or so cities and their football stadiums, a very neat and clean locker room, that gives a shine to what you know is a ‘dirty’ business.
Do yourself a favor and go see “Draft Day” that is an excellent film with very few ‘special effects’ to move it along.