March 23, 2007
On the Big Board
||I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this, but then again I really like Terrence Howard.
||Typical underdog sports drama.
Terrence Howard, who was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award in 2006 for Hustle & Flow, stars in this based-on-a-true-story sports film. Pride is set in 1973, a time when it could be rough going for an African American man looking for employment. In the case of Howard's character, Jim Ellis, a college degree didn't add much to his marketability.
Since he is having a tough time finding anything truly challenging or worthwhile, Ellis agrees to take a job that will have him tearing apart a Philadelphia swimming pool. Pretty quickly, he finds himself in direct conflict with Elston (Bernie Mac), a janitor who works at the pool - and is also rather attached to the place.
One day, Ellis encounters some young men who have been thrown off of a basketball court. He invites them to come swim at 'his' pool. Ellis observes that they actually have some natural talent at swimming, and believes that with some coaching, they could become competitive. Putting himself behind the cause of the city's first all African-American swim team, Ellis works to save the pool - and in the process, mentor some young people who can find success not just in a sport, but in life itself. (Kim Hollis/BOP)