There’s a lot one can praise in what is easily Penny Marshall’s best film, A League of Their Own—Geena Davis’ tough-yet-tender portrayal of Dottie Hinson, Marshall’s ability to somehow soften both Lori Petty and Rosie O’Donnell enough that they can share the screen without the film turning into 40-grit sandpaper, and the joy of watching a chubby brat catch a 50-mph mitt with his face. But the best thing about League is that it features the last performance of Classic Tom Hanks—the guy from Splash, The Burbs, and The Money Pit, the hapless asshole who used to splutter and spew like Daffy Duck, radiating a barely-contained, bug-eyed-and-explosive frustration. Eventually that Hanks was erased by Oscar bait, with faint echoes only barely surviving in the voice of Toy Story’s Woody. League is the swan song for Hanks’ agitated majesty, and that stubble-faced sourpuss is a must to behold on the big screen.
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