Brampton's Own is a 2018 drama written and directed by Michael Doneger, starring Alex Russell, Rose McIver, and Jean Smart. The story follows Dustin Kimmel, a 30-year-old minor league prospect for the Seattle Mariners who reconnects with his high school sweetheart during the offseason.
|Directed by||Michael Doneger|
|Written by||Michael Doneger|
|Music by||Mitchell Owens|
|Edited by||Brad McLaughlin|
|Distributed by||Dark Star Pictures|
|October 19, 2018|
Dustin Kimmel (Russell) is a minor league catcher for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers in the Seattle Mariners organization and has played in their farm system for the past 12 years. At the end of the season, the teams best players are summoned to the majors for September call-ups and once again, Dustin remains behind. His manager informs him that his defense is still good, but his batting average has declined.
Dustin's girlfriend, Emma (Voelkel), breaks up with him because their relationship hasn't progressed and he prioritizes his career over her. Dustin calls his mother Judy (Smart) to tell her he wasn't called up again, and she reminds him that he said he would retire from baseball if he wasn't in the majors by age 30. Dustin returns home to Brampton, where he finds all of his friends have families, and his high school sweetheart Rachel Kinley (McIver) has just become engaged to the town's new dentist, Eddie (Porter). He also receives a bombshell when his mother tells him she has been dating Bart (Getz) for a year and they will be moving in together. Dustin befriends Bart's young son Cody (Hastings) when the two bond over a mutual love of baseball.
While shooting pool one night with Gavin, he's introduced to Rachel's fiancée Eddie, who invites him to their engagement party. While at the party he sees Eddie as a somewhat controlling figure, and departs when Eddie and Rachel deliver a toast to their guests. Later, Rachel finds him at the high school baseball stadium where they talk and the two share a romantic dance together. Later that morning, Dustin returns home where his sister Jane is moving some of her things out of their mom's house. She tells him she's glad he's home, despite the chaos. That night, Rachel shows up at Dustin's door where she kisses him and the two sleep together. The next morning they talk and Rachel resolves to end things with Eddie.
The following day, Dustin receives a call from his manager in Tacoma telling him that the Mariner's catcher has been injured and he's being called up to the majors as a backup. When he shares the news with Rachel she leaves him, believing he once he's had a taste of the show he'll keep chasing it, even though Dustin hasn't made any permanent decisions. Nevertheless, Dustin departs for Los Angeles where the Mariners are playing a road series against the Los Angeles Angels. While having dinner at the hotel bar, he meets Diego Alomar (Bacon) who advises him to take in the experience while he's there, because he'll "always be chasing another at-bat".
The next morning, Dustin nervously prepares to leave for the game when he receives a call to his hotel room informing him that the Mariners have called up a different catcher from their Double-A affiliate and that he'll need to pack his things and return home. Dustin returns home, lamenting that he's neither good enough to be a professional baseball player nor good enough to do anything else. His mother tells him that his biggest problem is that he only ever cared about the result, and never the process of getting there. That chasing a dream isn't a purpose.
While drinking with Gavin, Eddie confronts Dustin over his affair with Rachel and hits him in the face, telling Dustin that regardless of any reservations Rachel might've had, it wasn't Dustin's place to interfere in her figuring that out. Later, Dustin finds Cody at the batting cages again where Cody asks how to intentionally get hit by a pitch.
Dustin returns home where his mother is talking with Rachel in the kitchen. The two talk privately with Rachel telling him she was there simply for closure on their relationship. She leaves, and the two go their separate ways. Dustin returns to his training routines for baseball, Rachel continues to work on her music, and Dustin's family spends time together now that Judy has moved in with Bart and Cody.
A year later, Dustin continues to play for the Rainiers and on September 1st, officially receives his call-up to the Mariners.
Brampton's Own received a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore writes, "While the film effectively captures Dustin's ambivalence and melancholy about giving up on baseball, the love story isn't nearly persuasive, and Dustin's core failure as a person...just feels like a device lifted from bigger sports dramas." The Los Angeles Times Kimber Myers writes, "It's better than a number of indie films in its craft - particularly the thoughtfully composed cinematography from Kieran Murphy - but a flawed script ultimately keeps it from eking out a win."
- "Brampton's Own".
- DeFore, John. "'Brampton's Own': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Myers, Kimber. "Review: Romantic drama 'Brampton's Own' is a swing and a miss". latimes.com.
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