It’s not unusual for last minute selections to be added to the Sundance Film Festival line-up in the weeks leading up to the Park City Festival. Last year it was Hamlet 2, and this year it is screenwriter turned director James C. Strouse‘s second feature film The Winning Season (note: this news has been rumored elsewhere, but this is the first time Sundance has officially confirmed the report).
The film stars Sam Rockwell as an adult alcoholic misfit brought on to coach his local girl’s high school basketball team. Rockwell has described the movie as Bad News Bears meets Half Nelson meets Hoosiers. It’s worth mentioning that Strouse’s semi-autobiographical first screenplay Lonesome Jim involved a story line where Jim (played by Casey Affleck) has to take over his brother’s girls youth basketball team.
The film’s cast also includes Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry, Shareeka Epps and Emily Rios. Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore calls the film “a completely gratifying cinematic drama marked by sharp dialogue and perfectly toned performances.”
Rockwell’s Sci-fi Thriller Moon also premieres at the festival. Roberts’ Lymelife is also screening at the festival. The Strouse penned Lonesome Jim premiered at Sundance in 2005, and his directorial debut Grace is Gone played at the 2007 festival.