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The Upside of Anger - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

THERE are two themes which seem to have served Kevin Costner well during his career - Westerns and baseball.

The western has helped to produce some of the finest moments of Costner's career, such as Dances With Wolves (as both star and director) and Open Range (likewise).

While baseball has contributed to past hits such as Field of Dreams, Bull Durham and, to a lesser degree, Sam Raimi's For Love Of The Game.

His latest, The Upside of Anger, finds Costner once more playing a once-great baseball star (turned disc-jockey) who steps in to become a drinking buddy to a woman still coming to terms with being suddenly abandoned by her husband.

It was among the successes at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where Costner, himself, dropped in for a chat with the press, and to ski.

Directed by Mike Binder, who previously helmed TV's The Mind of a Married Man, the film marks a supporting role for Costner, who plays largely second fiddle to Joan Allen.


Yet it could just mark a turning point in the star's career, as he looks for less mainstream choices.

"When I think of the next five years, I think of individual choices. ... I'm looking to stay independent," he has been quoted as saying.

He also insists that the challenge will be to continue to search for different roles, rather than sticking to formula, pointing out that he had repeatedly turned down offers for projects such as The Bodyguard 2.

His character in Upside of Anger might have his roots in baseball but, according to Costner, would rather talk cooking than sports, and is happy to drink, smoke pot and court women his own age.

As such, it was among the hits of this year's Sundance festival, where its website observed: "Galvanized by a great and witty script, and powered by truly remarkable performances by Joan Allen and Kevin Costner, The Upside of Anger is a welcome and inspired revision of the classic genre.

"Writer/director Mike Binder deserves all the kudos he will likely receive for this superbly rendered comedic drama, which is at once traditional and iconoclastic and as absorbing and entertaining as it is appealingly human."

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