The Pride of the Yankees ★★★★

The world has started turning in the other direction, eight times eight times eight is four, cats and dogs are united in mutual affection, the Democrats are moving left and showing backbone, Bill Gates has single-handedly spearheaded the Heaven 17 revival, and I just enjoyed the hell out of a fucking baseball movie. Charming, sensitive, touching, almost effortless in its maudlin Americana -- seven decades hence it still feels like a story about all of us, and even if you're a huge skeptic of that kind of thing, it's terminally effective in temporarily fooling us into thinking a moment like Lou Gehrig's rise and retirement belongs to the world -- without allowing us the comfort of one last vestige of his humanity at the fade, post-sealed fate, post-speech about said fate. Instead, as soon as his story is no longer the public's, he simply fades into the shadows, never to be heard from again -- so not only is it all very persuasive in its simplicity, it's also smart and even a tiny bit probing about it.