Neatly avoiding temptations toward mawkish excess, writer-director Chris Dowling
hits a solid double with “Where Hope Grows
,” his intelligently affecting faith-based drama about a fallen-from-grace baseball player who needs a shot at redemption, and a young grocery clerk who could use a best buddy while dealing with Down syndrome. The uplifting indie drama could draw respectable-sized flocks to megaplexes during limited theatrical release, and then swing for the fences while generating biz in home-screen platforms.
Early scenes briskly establish Calvin Campbell
, late of TV’s “Backstrom
”) as a former high-school hero and Detroit Tigers slugger whose glory days were cut short by panic attacks at the plate. Some 15 years after returning home to Louisville, Ky., with his tail tucked between his legs, he spends much of his time drifting aimlessly through an alcoholic haze, providing amiable companionship for Milt (Billy Zabka
), a longtime friend, while drawing scornful disapproval