The Upside of Anger is a domestic drama about a woman who, after suddenly finding herself single, begins affairs with the bottle and a broken down baseball player, respectively. Directed by Mike Binder, best known for writing and starring in The Mind of the Married Man, this movie mixes dark humor with real emotion and can be occasionally uncomfortable to watch, but Binder juggles both expertly. A tense scene diffused by Joan Allen imagining one of the character’s head exploding exemplifies the bold strokes of a film that manages to be both hilarious and haunting.
Joan Allen in the lead role of Terry the spurned domestic diva turned boozehound should be nominated for an Academy Award next year. But the whopper surprise is Kevin Costner, back at the top of his game after years of coasting. He digs into the role of Denny, a retired baseball star turned stoned radio DJ who offers Terry a famous shoulder to lean on.
If you liked American Beauty from a few years ago, you’ll like The Upside of Anger.