Finding the Way Back: Film Review

Finding the Way Back

Ben Affleck confronts his own substance abuse demons by playing an alcoholic in Finding the Way Back and this personal connection helps him summon a compelling performance and elevate a traditional sports movie.

Affleck stars as Jack Cunningham, a former high school basketball superstar who is now working in construction. His marriage has fallen apart following a family tragedy and he now dulls his grief, pain and anger with alcohol. He gets a shot at turning his life around when he is asked to return to his school and become the coach of their failing basketball team.

Yes, from that description, you know Jack will have a huge impact on the boys and they will have a big effect on him, but it doesn’t hit the exact beats I was expecting or follow the exact structure I was waiting for. I thought this would be a fairly predictable sports movie but this is way more focussed on Jack’s recovery and road to redemption and it was sad, frustrating, and surprising to watch.

Affleck’s intimate knowledge of alcoholism adds so much to his outstanding performance. You can tell the subject matter is important to him and he throws himself into the part without overdoing it, something which can be easily done in a role like this. Jack is in denial for the vast majority of the movie and gets angry and defensive when his alcohol intake is brought up and you can’t help but wonder how much Affleck can personally relate to that.

Finding the Way Back might feel familiar to other sports movies but it is worth a watch for Affleck’s performance alone.

Available to rent at home for 48 hours from Friday 10th July 

Rating: 3.5/5

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