A movie you might of missed that is well worth a watch. “The Winning Season” is a winning story for a guy who was down on his life until he decides to coach a high-school girls basketball team for the Plainview Chargers. Well it doesn’t happen that easy, here is a review.
Bill(Sam Rockwell) is a man who loves basketball and was a great player prospect but never really used his full potential back in college. His life turned upside down when he met his college sweetheart and they had a baby girl. The two raised the daughter who is now in high-school yet now Abby, Bill’s now ex, has moved on to a new relationship as Bill is now divorced and busing tables at a nearby restaurant. The one thing that does keep him afloat with his daughter is at least they do enjoy basketball. However at this point Bill likes drinking more than basketball and not exactly in tune with his daughter’s feelings.
Until he meets six girls when the Principal of a nearby high school and old friend of Bill, Terry(Rob Cordrry) decides to hire Bill as the new head coach of his basketball team. At first Bill is honored but when he sees that team is one the girls team, not the boys and the team only has six players and one of them has a broken foot, Bill is not exactly coaching a young team resembling the Hoosiers. This team is more like a girls version of the Bad News Bears.
Bill is way over his head, even with his expert knowledge of basketball, but more because his lack of female compassion not only for his own daughter but for six teenage girls he has never known before now. Bill unwillingly rejects the idea at first of taking this team from loser to winner but when he starts coaching his style of basketball, which is resemblance of his hero Bob Knight, the girls reluctant at first as well, do decide to turn a page. They start listening to Bill whose coaching style and life enthusiasms closely resemble Tom Hanks from “A League of Their Own.” Regardless at least the girls are playing the game the way he used to vision himself.
Bill even decides to hire an assistant coach Donna(Margo Martindale) who up to now was the team’s bus driver and now has been brought aboard to maybe bridge the gap of brutal Bill and his lack of compassion for teenage girls. Donna who of course is reluctant at first finds a new calling as the team’s psychologist who might not know a lot about basketball but helps with the female side of things for Bill. Now this movie is a comedy as Bill has certainly more resemblance of a Kenny Powers from “Eastbound and Down” than a high school girls basketball coach but for some reason things do start clicking for this whole team of misfits. Bill, the girls and even Donna start to win not only at basketball but start to understand the importance of being there for someone no matter how hard times do get. Who knows this whole life experience may even be able to help Bill and his now long lost relationship with his daughter. Remember this is a story of winning not losing and this movie does show us that winning is much more sweater when your never given a shot.
Overall The Winning Season was great! I always been a fan of Sam Rockwell and enjoy almost all of his movies. I also recommend seeing him in the movie “Conviction.” As for this movie it was a movie I had not heard of until I watched it and it was well worth the time. The movie is very funny at times, as Bill will crack you up with his performance but overall is a good story altogether. The movie in my mind was four star worthy and recommend it if you missed this one back in 2009.