The Age of Regret

‘Trouble with the Curve,' 'Hope Springs'

hope springs

Given its overwhelmingly young audience demographic, it’s interesting to see what Hollywood does when it gets its hands on the unsettling themes of old age. Evidence suggests policy imperatives of avoidance and, where that’s not possible, cheerful reassurance. Kudos, then, to a pair of current films that—to borrow a metaphor from one of them—at least step up to the plate and take a swing at it.

Robert Lorenz’s Trouble with the Curve dissects the specter of professional obsolescence. Clint Eastwood stars as Gus Lobel, a baseball scout nearing the end of a long career. His usefulness impugned by young front-office hotshots who rely on computer analysis to evaluate prospects, Gus is sent to North Carolina to scout a cocky young slugger the team intends to make its first draft pick. Macular degeneration and glaucoma have put a blurry spot in the center of Gus’s vision; scared and angry, he’s hiding his problem from everyone else, including his daughter Mickey, a driven, perfectionist corporate lawyer. Aware that her father’s job and his pride both ride on the outcome of his scouting trip, Mickey takes a week off from her...

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About the Author

Rand Richards Cooper is Commonweal's contributing editor.