Ben Affleck looks to be putting in a fantastic performance in the upcoming film The Way Back, reuniting him with The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor.
The film has Affleck playing a once-promising basketball player who left the game behind. Now, years later, spiraling after an unspeakable loss and dealing with severe alcoholism, an opportunity for redemption arises when he’s offered the chance to coach the very team he was a part of as a young man.
O’Connor’s mixed martial arts drama Warrior blew me away and is among my personal favourites. Starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, it was an engrossing, beautifully crafted drama, balancing emotional character arcs with “sports movie” elements to great effect. Having O’Connor back in a similar wheelhouse here is exciting, and Affleck – who’s tackling a role that’s pretty close to home – looks great in it. So keen for this one.
The Way Back, also starring Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman, arrives in Australia on March 5 and hits the US on March 6.
Official synopsis for The Way Back:
Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full university scholarship, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is spiraling down, triggered by an unspeakable loss, and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life.
When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boys start to come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a reason to confront the demons that have derailed him. But will it be enough to fill the void, heal the deep wounds of his past, and set him on the road to redemption?