Initially feeling more like a study in cultural assimilation in the style of compatriot Ramin Bahrani than their hard-nosed drug-drama debut Half Nelson, Sugar ends up being remarkably singular in its focus. In the Dominican ghettos, Sugar is considered a hero when he comes home from the baseball academy where he spends his weeks honing a rocket launcher of a pitching arm. When he is asked to the Bridgetown affiliate, nicknamed The Swing, his only connection to his home is an old friend (Rayniel Rufino) who was pulled out of San Pedro as well but who hasn't been called up thanks to a chronic ailment. Perez Soto, whose angular figure and penetrating gaze make him a hypnotic presence, appears in almost every frame.
Continue reading: Sugar Review
Three close friends, Lanisha (Kerry Washington), Maria (Melissa Martinez) and Jocelyn (Anna Simpson), listen to their favorite song on the radio ("Ooh, child... things are gonna get easier... we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun") and wonder what the future has in store. As they go through their routines of shoplifting, flirting, grabbing a slice, or making plans to catch a movie, their relationships inevitably change as young friendships always do. McKay is well serviced by superb cinematographer Jim Denault (Boys Don't Cry), who knows how to frame subtle moments with unobtrusive grace.
Continue reading: Our Song Review