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A No-Hit, No-Run Summer

Set in '69, "A No-Hit, No-Run Summer" gets to first base, at least, with its modest tale of B-team squirts who play in old hockey jerseys but eventually hold their own against the well-named Aristocrats.

With:
With: Patrice Robitaille, Pier-Luc Funk, Jacinthe Lague, Roy Dupuis, Guy Thauvette, Peter Batacliev, Frederique Dufort.

Set in ’69, “A No-Hit, No-Run Summer” gets to first base, at least, with its modest tale of B-team squirts who play in old hockey jerseys but eventually hold their own against the well-named Aristocrats. Third feature by Quebecois helmer Francis Leclerc (“Girl at the Window”) is formulaic and insubstantial, but pleasant and occasionally more as it asserts the sandlot’s rejuvenating power for pint-sizers like 12-year-old Martin (Pier-Luc Funk), whose dad (Patrice Robitaille) takes up coaching duties for the summer. Movie is far milder than either version of “The Bad News Bears,” for better and worse; grosses will follow suit.

Pic’s sole visual distinction is its occasional use of mock homemovie montages to advance the simple underdog narrative. Cover versions of period pop tunes — e.g., “Sunshine Superman,” “California Dreamin’ ” — likewise liven things up a tad. Young slugger’s dream of hitting a homer against the Cardinals’ ace pitcher gets replayed just for fun, and an imaginary friend in the big leagues drops by intermittently to impart gentle advice. Funk, all the way to the big game, narrates the film in voiceover. Production values are swell.

A No-Hit, No-Run Summer

Canada

Production: A Palomar/Alliance Vivafilm presentation. (International sales: Alliance Vivafilm, Montreal.) Produced by Barbara Shrier. Directed by Francis Leclerc. Screenplay, Marc Robitaille, based on the novel "Un ete sans point ni coup sur."

Crew: Camera (color), Steve Asselin; editor, Glenn Berman; music, Luc Sicard, Carl Bastien; production designer, Jean Babin; costume designer, Francesca Chamberland. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 8, 2008. Original title: Un ete sans point ni coup sur. French dialogue. Running time: 104 MIN.

With: With: Patrice Robitaille, Pier-Luc Funk, Jacinthe Lague, Roy Dupuis, Guy Thauvette, Peter Batacliev, Frederique Dufort.

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