At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
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It's draft day in the NFL and as general manager of the Cleveland Browns, Sonny is forced to come up with a big move. After trading for the number one pick, Sonny has to choose between a lower-ranked linebacker with a questionable past or a celebrated quarterback with a questionable future. All the while, Sonny is walking in the footsteps of his father and personal complications force their way to the surface. Written by
On April 11, treat yourself to a nearly perfect film: Draft Day. Ivan Reitman directs a star- studded cast led by Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Dennis Leary. I scored tickets to a special pre-screening of the film and I haven't seen Costner this good since 1989's Field of Dreams. Draft Day is an amazing story for anyone who enjoys America's gladiator sport. It is also a brilliant hook for the NFL to use to attract new fans. In particular, those who have never seen the battles fought on the business side of the multibillion dollar franchise will find the story difficult to resist.
Several stories are told through characters who are all connected by one of the sport's holiest of days: NFL Draft Day. We see the worry experienced by a veteran quarterback who may lose his job if the press is right. We see a touching story of a son who wants to join the team his father played for. We see the conflict of a rookie torn between what is right and what is lucrative. We see a love story born from a mutual love and respect for football that clashes with a son's duty to his mother and the memory of his father.
No other film has ever looked so beautiful while capturing the excitement of football without centering on action sequences on the field. The beauty of this film is in the chemistry between Costner and Leary as they fight for control of the destiny of the Cleveland Browns, the looks exchanged and words unsaid between Costner and Garner as he struggles to be the man he wants to become, and in the struggle between Costner and Ellen Burstyn who is struggling to be the mother he needs.
Throughout the film we are privileged to see performances worthy of any prize yet the most surprising is that of Griffin Newman as Rick, the intern. He learns faster and bonds with more characters than any other cast member. He is simply brilliant and is officially on my list of actors to watch in the coming year.
Draft Day is everything we wish American football will be. We want the struggle, the fight, and the triumph of Draft Day. I only hope a sequel is coming soon because after watching what these characters endure just to make it to the draft, I desperately want to see how their first season ends.
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