The timing couldn't be better for the basketball drama, Wolves. Its biggest star and all-around great actor, Michael Shannon, just earned another Oscar nomination, this time for Nocturnal Animals. And that kind of notoriety should draw a few more eyes to what looks like a promising film from director Bart Freundlich.
Starring Shannon, Carla Gugino, and Taylor John Smith, the film centers on a talented high school basketball player who must overcome the odds, like his father's gambling addiction, family troubles, and personal injury, to secure his future. It's a familiar story but I like the visual touches by Freundlich here, and his willingness to rely on them in this trailer rather than giving away too much of the plot. Here is the official synopsis:
From the famous courts of West 4th Street, to the tenements over looking the bridges of the lower east side, Wolves paints an original, diverse, and emotional portrait of a boy becoming a man in New York City.
18-year-old, Anthony Keller is a high school basketball star. Now in his senior year he is being recruited by Cornell University, a dream come true. Called “Saint” by everyone at his school (St. Anthony’s), he does his best to live up to his name. He is captain of his team, a good student, has a long time girlfriend and some good friends. But the ease with which he moves through his life is a facade. At home, Anthony struggles with his troubled Father, Lee Keller, (Michael Shannon) and his gambling addiction. Anthony’s Mother, Jenny, (Carla Gugino) has made it her mission to keep the family afloat but has done so only with great emotional and financial sacrifice. As Anthony approaches the end of his senior year and the city finals, he is faced with adversity from all sides, and the stakes are high. He must find his own definition of what it means to be a man, both on and off the court, and in doing so he is confronted with the decision of a lifetime.
Wolves hits theaters and VOD on March 3rd.