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42 

Charismatic and hopeful

click to enlarge Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson
  • Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson breaks major league baseball's colour barrier in the routine, but charismatic 42. Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (a blubbering crank of a Harrison Ford) decides to stir the pot by hiring a negro player, against the advice and threats of his league, his advisors and most of the baseball-attending public. Playing in the big leagues means the intensely talented Robinson (a magnetic Chadwick Boseman) will have to curb his raging temper. Their efforts end up weighing heavily on both men, and the movie doesn't downplay it, making the many scenes with Robinson's fiercely loyal wife all the sweeter. There's the normal biopic hindsight (mostly displayed in the many awe-struck children who seem to be aware Jackie will have movies made about him) but that's all auxiliary. A stirring, romantic and even hopeful tale about standing tall against adversity, 42 does Jackie Robinson's legacy proud.

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Vol 24, No 28
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