A rites-of-passage tale about racism and cricket in '60s London? Hey, it's nowhere near as dull as it sounds.
Our hero is David (Sam Smith), an 11-year-old Jewish boy whose love for the wicket intensifies when his Jamaican neighbour (Delroy Lindo) erects a cricket net. As David learns to bowl, Mum (Emily Woof) finds herself pondering what this black stranger has beneath his whites...
Paul Morrison's follow-up to Solomon And Gaenor - - Bat It Like Botham, if you will - - makes cricket a convenient metaphor for the emergence of a multi-cultural Britain, the grudging respect given to the all-conquering Windies emblematic of a wider tolerance of the immigrant influx. Full marks to Morrison for taking a swing at the bigoted Little Englander mentality, then, but neither his script nor the performances knock us for six. And while it's good to see such a British pastime figure so prominently, the swerve of David's father (Stanley Townsend) from penny-pinching workaholic to cuddly family man is pure Hollywood schmaltz.