Home » Air – The Story of the Great Leap Review: here’s the new film directed by Ben Affleck

Air – The Story of the Great Leap Review: here’s the new film directed by Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck returns to directing to tell the big leap: the story of Michael Jordan and the birth of the legendary Nike Air

There was a basketball in the moving finale of Returning to Win by Gavin O’Connor, a sports and self-analysis drama released at the height of the pandemic and now considered the rising point of the career of Ben Affleck, who at that time was trying to leave behind a flood of problems both personal and professional. And because everything in cinema comes back, it is precisely with basketball that Ben Affleck with his new film Air reminds us what a fine director he is capable of being.

Six years after the ambitious and ugly and unsuccessful The law of the night, and exactly a decade after the resounding Best Picture Oscar won in 2013 with the resounding Argo (whose echoes can still be heard today in the very recent Tetris, which just so happens to have more than one point of contact with this film-because it all adds up in the movies), Ben Affleck reunites with lifelong friend Matt Damon to direct, star and co-produce the story of how Nike, in the 1980s, in the midst of an economic crisis that threatened to shut down the company’s basketball department, managed to wrest An endorsement contract to Michael Jordan, elusive rookie just entering the world of the NBA and thought by all to be one young promise among many who, however, according to visionary sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) is destined to become something more.

Born in the USA

Solitamente i film di Ben Affleck sono scritti da Dio (a parte La legge della notte, chiariamo) e infatti Air non fa eccezione: anche se né lui né il sodale Matt Damon hanno preso parte alla stesura del copione (il duo torna a lavorare insieme circa venticinque anni dopo l’Oscar alla miglior sceneggiatura originale condiviso per Will Hunting – Genio Ribelle e ad un paio d’anni dalle poche scene condivise in The Last Duel di Ridley Scott, per il quale avevano firmato la sceneggiatura: questa, tra l’altro, è la prima volta in cui Ben Affleck dirige Matt Damon dopo le recite scolastiche al liceo) Air vive di dialoghi e racconta i suoi personaggi e le loro situazioni attraverso le conversazioni, che in poche frasi riescono a contenere mondi interi, tutte le esistenze vissute fuori dagli uffici Nike.

The plot is oversimplified and the story does not even require emotional or suspenseful leaps at the most salient stages, but everything unfolds along and through magnificent dialogues in which characters often vie with each other in stubbornness to have their own opinion trump the other’s. Even with absurd and exaggerated vehemence, even with despicable insults: there is a lot of arguing in Air, face to face and on the phone, but it is done with a smile, with the mentality of a capitalist fairy tale for which a happy ending seems assured. One of the most striking examples of this predilection for dialogue will be a reflection on Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” (in the Super Mario Bros review bemoaned the use of 80s music, here on the other hand, the selection of songs is to be applauded: also in Air, by the way, as in the Nintendo film, there will be The achievement of an epiphany through a television commercial) through which the film explains to us that words are always revealing a truth that may elude us at first glance.

Air - The Story of the Great Leap Review 1

Special mention, then, for one of the best cinematic gimmicks of recent times. In Air Michael Jordan is there, he is present, but we never see his face: or rather, we see the REAL Michael Jordan appear from time to time through stock inserts edited into the narrative to serve as a counterpoint to some particularly evocative or salient moments in the story, but the actor playing the younger version of him (the unknown Damian Young) Ben Affleck never frames his face, never once lets us see him, even not once does he speak.

In Air Michael Jordan is a presence, he is an idea, he is the future toward which the film is heading, he is that future in which all the protagonists have chosen to hope, have chosen to believe. Ben Affleck‘s resounding move prompts the viewer to remember what he knows about Michael Jordan, creating a participation that goes beyond words: though by subtraction, images command.


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Matteo Regoli

critica i film, poi gli chiede scusa si occupa di cinema, e ne è costantemente occupato è convinto che nello schermo, a contare davvero, siano le immagini porta avanti con poca costanza Fatti di Cinema, blog personale

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