Uncanned: Mickey makes its debut

Long stalled by its failure to find a distributor, Mickey has finally debuted in the city of its creators. Author John Grisham and movie director Hugh Wilson unveiled their project in a pair of capacity-crowd screenings April 25 and 26 at the Jefferson Theater.

The movie, about a Little League baseball prodigy and his dad-on-the-run, stars Harry Connick Jr.

Mickey was written by Grisham and directed by Wilson, both of whom played supporting roles. So did dozens of players, families, and coaches at Cove Creek Park. There's a key scene in which actual Cove Creek coaches stare across a recruiting table at professional actors.

"Our guys are so much better," Grisham told an audience of extras Monday, April 26. "When you see them, you're going to be blown away."

The film was shot in the summer of 2001– just before a real-life Little League age-deception scandal may have made the movie's theme too much a case of art imitating life– even if the art came first.

The Monday night screening was a thank-you to the extras. The previous day's event was a Party Parade fundraiser benefiting the Paramount Theater.

Mickey begins its regular Charlottesville run at the downtown Regal Friday, April 30.

At the Party Parade event, Wilson told the crowd that he and Grisham have arranged runs of the film in several other cities, including Dallas and Atlanta.

"If you like it," said Wilson, "please tell your friends, because John and I are trying to make our money back."


Patrick Wilson, Jillian Hume, and Margie Wilson hand out promotional baseball cards at the Charlottesville debut of Mickey, a baseball film created by two locals with worldwide resumes.
PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER