Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck made a noteworthy narrative feature debut with Half Nelson
, and they establish themselves as filmmakers of uncommon integrity, compassion, and vision with their superb follow-up, Sugar
. While the film deals with familiar elements -- it is a fish-out-of-water story and a sports drama -- the filmmakers scrupulously avoid cliche, and in their own unobtrusively artful way, subvert audience expectations. While the film isn't really "about" baseball, so much as it's about a young man's coming to terms with what he wants out of life, Boden and Fleck have done their research. They get the baseball right -- a rare feat -- and they manag...