Projections - Movie Reviews
Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard, S. Epatha Merkerson,
Brent Sexton, Chris Mulkey, Debra Winger

Radio is a feel-good movie.

Based on a true story, Cuba Gooding Jr. Plays James "Radio" Kennedy, a mentally disabled man, who pushes his grocery cart full of goodies around his small town in South Carolina during the 1970's.

His nickname is for the portable radio he carries around with him. A sweet young guy he loves watching high school football practice from outside the field fence. He doesn't speak much and certainly hurts no one. That changes when some of the football players pull a nasty prank on him and Coach Harold Jones (Ed Harris) finds him crying and frightened in a shed and takes Radio under his wing.

Coach has him do chores around the locker room and brings him onto the field to cheer from the sidelines at all the games.

The Coach has a very understanding wife (Debra Winger in an effective role) and daughter (Sarah Drew). They resent the near obsession that Jones has toward Radio, but they also like him and don't really put up much of a fuss.

There always has to be an antagonist and here he shows up as one of the dads of the football players. He thinks Radio is a "distraction" to the team and when the Coach allows Radio to sit in the back of his classroom and participate as a hall monitor, the school board is called in on the matter.

The film treats Radio with respect, and Cuba tones down his exuberant nature to give a sweet, gently spirit to his character, without making it sugary.

Harris plays Coach as a decent, nice guy. The devotion he has for Radio appears real. He's someone we would love to have coach our kids.

The ending credits show the real James Kennedy and Coach Jones, now retired, and it appears that they have had a lasting relationship.

This is a terrific film for the whole family. It's great to watch good people who work hard at being selfless come out on top.


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