Austin Film Festival: 'Calvin Marshall'
A wannabe shortstop goes through the ringer in this baseball comedy.
By Kimberley Jones,
4:24PM, Thu. Oct. 22, 2009
Apparently, Alex Frost has the face of a young man in need of deflowering; Calvin Marshall marks the actor’s second virginal role to play in this year’s AFF lineup (see also The Vicious Kind). As CM's titular lead, Frost plays a relentlessly decent guy who wants only to play shortstop for his junior college baseball team.
Too bad Calvin can’t hit to save his life… or throw… or field. He’s a hopeless case, but even his hard-drinking, hard-hearted coach (Zahn, enjoyably grizzled) can’t say no to the kid. The college's star volleyball player (Michelle Lombardo) also takes falls for his goofy charms – maybe because she's been conned into thinking she's dating the big man on campus.
Writer/director Gary Lundgren goes a little too far with Calvin’s delusions of grandeur, or even delusions of adequacy – he’s a smart kid, after all; he knows his E.R.A. – but what Calvin Marshall most ably does is dramatize the pure fervor of a baseball devotee and how hard it is to acknowledge that one is destined for a fan’s life and nothing more.
Calvin Marshall screens Friday, Oct. 23, 9:50pm, at the Paramount. Writer/director Gary Lundgren and actors Diedrich Bader, Alex Frost, Michelle Lombardo, Rosie Thomas, Jeremy Sumpter, Josh Fadem, and Andrew Wilson will be in attendance.