You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story

A natural for sports venues, the film (which recently played Gotham's Quad Cinema) could also flourish on the educational circuit.

With: Kevin Laue, Fletcher Arritt, Howard Garfinkel, Patrick McKnight, Jodi Jarnigan, Jim Jarnigan, Ben Howland.

Taking a measured approach to a sensational life, “Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story” is less the story of a young man’s growth and development than the world’s: Laue, a 6’9″ basketball phenom missing the better part of his left arm, arrives more or less fully formed in helmer Franklin Martin’s inspirational docu, resigned to his condition and determined to overcome nature’s mistake. What develops is the basketball community’s acceptance of something it would prefer not to confront, simply because it defies the norm. A natural for sports venues, the film (which recently played Gotham’s Quad Cinema) could also flourish on the educational circuit.

Despite the slam dunks and bling of the NBA, the sports world at its core is conservative, dealing as it does with statistics and formulae, and throughout “Long Shot,” one senses that Laue’s disability is not just an anomaly, but something that basketball professionals would prefer to see go away. Although they’re almost uniformly, and ultimately, supportive, most of the coaches interviewed are reluctant to calculate Laue’s chances beyond high school. “You’d have to be a really tough kid,” says UCLA coach Ben Howland. Howard Garfinkel, of the celebrated Five Star Basketball camp, is more blunt: “Not gonna happen,” he says of Laue’s chances of playing at the Division I collegiate level.

Laue’s struggle to defy the odds takes up the bulk of the docu, along with the obligatory biographical survey that sets the young man up as a paragon of stoic resolve, as well as a marvel of athleticism. The abbreviation of Laue’s arm was the result, in utero, of his developing-limb having been caught between his neck and umbilical cord; that the cord was wrapped around his neck was another problem. Moreover, Laue was born left-handed, without a left arm. Thus, everything he’s doing — as shown by the pic’s rich assortment of game clips, which make the case for his basketball fluency — is being accomplished with the “wrong” hand.

In contrast with many sports movies, factual or fictional, there’s no assurance that Laue is going to be triumphant. He doesn’t always make the last-second free throw; he occasionally crumbles under pressure. He sometimes frustrates his network of high-level supporters, who include likable high-school coach Patrick McKnight and the more prickly but stalwart Fletcher Arritt of Fork Union Military Academy (where Laue transfers in hopes of being scouted). While he gets a wealth of support from his mother and stepfather, Jodi and Jim Jarnigan, he nurses his grief for his late father, Wayne, who appears here in video footage, predicting the kinds of things for Kevin that are shown to be fulfilled in “Long Shot.” It’s sentimental, of course, as well as irresistible.

Tech credits are fine; Robin Soper’s music is supportive without being intrusive, and the game sequences look polished.

Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story

Production: A Dutchmen Films presentation. Produced by Billy Rafferty, Franklin Martin. Executive producers, Dain Blair, Julian McMahon, Charles Loventhal. Co-producers, Tyler Lindsay, Skip Connors. Directed, written by Franklin Martin.

Crew: Camera (color), Martin, Eli Kabbilio, Billy Rafferty, Phil Wall; editors, Sam Citron, Tyler Lindsay, Jason Summers; music, Robin Soper; music supervisor, Dain Blair; sound, Gary Summers; associate producer, Stan Cassio. Reviewed on DVD, Nov. 27, 2012. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Kevin Laue, Fletcher Arritt, Howard Garfinkel, Patrick McKnight, Jodi Jarnigan, Jim Jarnigan, Ben Howland.

More Film

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

  • Laura Linney Cast in Viggo Mortensen

    Laura Linney Joins Viggo Mortensen's Family Drama 'Falling'

    Laura Linney, Hannah Gross, and Terry Chen have joined the cast of Viggo Mortensen’s family drama “Falling.” The movie will be Mortensen’s directorial debut. He’s also producing, wrote the screenplay, and is playing one of the two leading roles in a story about a son’s relationship with his aging father. Production is currently underway in Toronto. [...]

  • Maya Erskine-Jack Quaid Romcom 'Plus One'

    Maya Erskine-Jack Quaid Rom-Com 'Plus One' Sells Ahead of Tribeca Premiere

    Romantic comedy “Plus One,” starring Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid, has sold to RLJE Films in a pre-emptive deal for low seven figures ahead of its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “Plus One” is written and directed by Jeff Chan (“Adam Ruins Everything”) and Andrew Rhymer (Pregame). The film also stars Ed Begley, [...]

  • Alan Horn Disney

    Walt Disney Studios Leaders Say Fox Deal Represents 'Exciting New Chapter'

    Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and President Alan Bergman are asking Fox staffers to be patient while the company begins the complicated work of integrating the two motion picture teams. Both men were on Fox’s Century City lot for meetings with executives. In a memo, Bergman and Horn said they would try to be [...]


    Doha Film Institute's Qumra Wraps, Bolstering Status as Top Arab Cinema Event

    The Doha Film Institute’s unique Qumra workshop wrapped its fifth edition on Wednesday following six days of masterclasses, labs and mentoring sessions that bolstered the DFI’s status as the prime entity fostering Arab filmmaking and connecting directors from most of the region with the rest of the world.  Programmers from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content