Off the Black
Veteran actor Nick Nolte puts his explosive personal life behind him for a while, returning to what he does best with OFF THE BLACK. Nolte stars as Ray, a weathered high-school baseball umpire whose life veered off the rails some time ago and shows no sign of getting back on track. Nolte slips into the role with consummate ease, and you can almost smell the alcohol on his breath as Ray drunkenly wheezes through the first half-hour of director James Ponsoldt's inaugural feature. Ray slumps to his lowest ebb one night as some pranksters from the high school vandalize his home, but he manages to catch one of the fleeing boys, Dave (Trevor Morgan), as he tries to escape the scene. Dave cleans up the mess in a bid to escape criminal charges, and the two men strike up an unusual friendship full of deep conversation and endless soul searching; their relationship is further developed as they attend Ray's high-school reunion, with Dave pretending to be his son.