Field of Dreams (1989)
I watched this on recommendation from my friend over at MyFavouviteWesterns. I must admit I wasn’t that enthusiastic about Field of Dreams (1989). I knew that Kevin Costner had done a string of baseball films, and this would be just another average baseball film. To be honest I hadn’t much to worry about really. After viewing A League of Their Own (1992) it was good preparation for a sentimental film.
Not all farmers who start out in a field of corn, believing and hearing voices about building a baseball pitch. It sounds like madness really, for Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) who actually listens to the voices that just won’t give up. A few gentle reminders and a wife Annie Kinsella (Amy Madigan) who lets him tear down a good chunk of their crops to make way for a pitch, there must be some reason behind the madness? A ghostly presence of a pitch and player in the distance are all that’s needed to make up his mind.
It’s not long until the family have spent their savings, torn up a good part of their field to lay down a pitch. What next then? They don’t have to wait long for old-time player Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) to appear, pitch a few before even more arrive. It’s something only Hollywood would do, bringing the past alive in a time of uncertainty, giving hope to these ghosts who want only to play baseball, giving them a chance once more to live again, mistaking Iowa for heaven.
Before Ray’s task is complete he is on the road again to find prominent writer Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones) who at first is unwilling to come back to Iowa until a leap of unexplainable faith which only Ray and his family understood and saw the baseball players. The next stop on their journey, you could say mission was to find Moonlight Graham who when they get to his home town, died years earlier. After learning about the once baseball hopeful, who became a doctor, it seems all hope is lost really, a wasted journey until a chance moment and little bit of time travel that we find the Doc (Burt Lancaster) who as much as he wants to go with them to the pitch doesn’t want to fulfil his wish. It’s a great cameo from an era in film when most of his contemporaries were dying.
Whilst back at the farm, it’s not looking good financially for the family who have missed a few payments, the farm is at risk, with Annie’s brother Mark (Timothy Busfield) is ready to bail them out, unable to see what is happening in their lives. It’s all about believing and having faith, taking that leap to see beyond what is in front. Theres something spiritual and schmaltzy about the film that should be laughable, but it’s not, it’s the right amount. To have another chance to see those who have died, and the dead another chance to live. The ending is open-ended, you could come back and have all the answers to the questions that are left open, which would really spoil an other decent and fun film.
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