Increasingly estranged from his own daughter, a boozy busboy (Sam Rockwell) gets a shot at redemption when an old friend (Rob Corddry) hires him to coach a varsity girls basketball team.
" Forget AA; according to the movies, there's no better cure for alcoholism or depression than good ol' precollegiate athletic coaching. "
" A predictable and cliched dramady. "
" In its final lap The Winning Season collapses into a sentimental farce that even Mr. Rockwell, now playing the clown, cannot redeem from cringe-inducing hokum. "
" Rockwell does a typically fine job -- he's funny, touching and appalling -- as an alcoholic mess of a former high school basketball coach who's been reduced to washing dishes in a restaurant. "
" The Winning Season respects its misfits (and its audience) by not stripping away their foibles in the service of sports-movie cliches. "
" The story deepens through the clownish, heartbreaking exertions of Rockwell's gruff misfit, still working things out at the final buzzer. "
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