I'm a middle-aged black man now and sometimes I wonder if young people get it.
I was born in Richmond, VA, and I'm 1 (ONE) generation removed from segregation.
It is because of this that I was FLOORED by the performance of these young actors. Chadwick Boseman & Nicole Beharie did a magnificent job portraying the grace and courage of the Robinsons.
I couldn't have done it. Boseman has an UNCANNY resemblance to Jackie, and his performance was so visceral that it proved to me that I couldn't have done it.
I wouldn't have had the courage to stand up to racism by NOT fighting back. I wouldn't have had the patience to bide my time until folks decided it was time to see me as being more than sub-human. I absolutely wouldn't have taken the risk of playing a game while people threatened my wife and child.
When Jackie finally got angry enough to smash his bat against a wall, that was the ONLY thing I could relate to - then to realize he had to go back out there because it was about MORE than just him - I was flabbergasted by his courage.
This is more than a film about baseball. The nuances like watching people in second class seating still turning out to support Robinson in full-on "Sunday church service" dress was poignant to me.
This movie ain't just about Jackie.
My mom is from New York, and she was 7 years old when Jackie joined the Dodgers. She remembers this clearly.
It's obvious why you (as I did) would take your kids to see this film as it shows what happened and how far we've come. For me, it shows what other people did FOR ME that I was incapable of doing for myself.
This film has some corny parts to it - like most films of this ilk, it sanitizes some things and does tie a nice bow on some issues glossed over in the retelling...
..that doesn't mean it's not a darned good film.
I'm pretty cynical these days. It's not often that I watch a film with a lump in my throat the whole time. I am indebted to the young actors who portrayed the people of my grandparents' generation with style, class and urgency.
I will own this film when it becomes available and that date can't come soon enough.