Archives / 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Love and Basketball

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Screenwriters: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Description

In as sparkling a debut as recent memory recalls, Gina Prince-Bythewood displays a formidable directorial touch, heralding the emergence of a major new talent. But it's not just her directing abilities that are impressive, for much of the outstanding quality of Love and Basketball stems from a script which is sweetly romantic yet compelling real.
The story is rather straightforward actually. Two kids, a boy and a girl, meet on their neighborhood basketball court. Eleven-year-old Quincy doesn't quite know what to make of a girl who plays as well as any boy, and Monica doesn't hold much with the cockiness of a young boy who already thinks he's the court's superstar. But it's obvious they are infatuated with each other, and their relationship slowly builds as they pursue their mutual dream to make it as professional ballplayers. As their lives as people and athletes mature through high-school recruitment, the challenge of performing at the next level for more demanding coaches, and much more competitive environments, their feelings for each other blossom beyond friendship.
With engaging detail and one of the most authentic presentations of sport on film ever (what do you expect from a film produced by Spike Lee?). Prince-Bythewood depicts a beautifully articulated romance with a captivating ebb and flow and elicits dynamically charismatic performance form her two leads, Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. Love and Basketball is cinema romance at its best, emotionally exhilarating and sexy, with absorbing characterizations and fully satisfying, perfectly executed drama. Even as a work in progress, you won't find any filmmaking as polished in the Festival.

Screening Details

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