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neumu
Thursday, December 14, 2017 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Radio cinematronic
  director

Michael Tollin

cast

Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Riley Smith, Sarah Drew, Debra Winger, Alfre Woodard, Chris Mulkey, S. Epatha Merkerson

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  The admonition "Inspired by a true story" is blatantly visible in the ad campaign for the well-intentioned drama "Radio," concerning the strivings of James Robert Kennedy, a mentally challenged South Carolina man who becomes towel boy/cheerleader/mascot for a small-town high-school football team in the '70s. Besides suggesting an imitation of reality, the use of the word "inspired" in the ad freed the filmmakers from any obligation to be rigorously fact-based. A total abuse of dramatic license could've resulted in a movie-going experience saccharine enough to rot teeth and put diabetics at risk. "Radio" is a bit better than that, even though it's unabashedly sentimental. It veers into manipulative territory with its adherence to an underdog-bucks-the-odds formula and its angling-for-an-Oscar performance by Cuba Gooding Jr. as damaged innocent Kennedy, nicknamed Radio for his obsession with audio receivers. Even when "Radio" goes into schmaltz mode, Gooding's performance is empathic, and Ed Harris is quietly impassioned as Coach Jones, who mentors Radio. Also, Debra Winger puts in a welcome, rare appearance as the coach's patient wife, and Alfre Woodard pops up as the sympathetic school principal.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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