It’s October 25th, 1986. In the sixth game of the World Series, the Boston Red Sox are leading the New York Mets 3 games to 2. The score is Sox 5, Mets 4 in the bottom of the 10th inning. There are two outs and two men on base. Mookie Wilson comes to the plate for the Mets. The count is 2 and 2, and then a wild pitch scores the fifth Mets run. All tied up, 5 and 5. It’s 3 balls and 2 strikes to Mookie, so one strike, a pop fly, or an easy grounder will send the game into the 11th inning. Mookie hits an easy grounder that rolls right up the line toward first base, directly at Bill Buckner. Buckner bends over to scoop it up … and it dribbles between his legs and rolls into right field as the winning run scores. The next day the Mets win again. Boston will have to wait another 18 years for their first World Series win since 1918.
That’s all the backdrop to this odd little film written by Don Delillo, whose books I’ve never read. I understand he has a sort of cult following, though it’s a large cult. The story is actually about Michael Keaton, a lifelong Red Sox fan and a playwright in New York. Rooting for the Sox has given him a pessimistic outlook on life. He spends most of his time sitting in taxis in traffic, which I understand is a Delillo trademark, seeing friends, and hopping out. His new play is opening that night, and the most hated and feared critic in New York, Robert Downey, Jr., will certainly be there, in disguise and packing heat because he fears for his life. And with good reason. I couldn’t really get into this one, though it had its moments.