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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Field of Dreams: Review

What could possibly be a better film for baseball loving fathers and sons to watch together than Field of Dreams, which may also quite possibly be the single best sports film even mothers, daughters and even non-sports persons can love.

Far more than just a sports film, Field of Dreams emerged into the heart of all things Americana over 20 years ago. It’s a film about a man played by Kevin Costner (The Untouchables, Dances with Wolves) who longs for a resolution with a deceased father he never understood, let alone appreciated. Now, the son has a chance to reach out to that father through a fanciful game of baseball with ghosts playing on a diamond in a cornfield. As strange as it sounds it’s really a simple tale that works to great effect, and is guaranteed to tug on the heartstrings of even the manliest of men.

Through a series of events dictated by the voices in the head of a struggling Iowa farmer men of all walks of life, living and dead come together to play the great American past time. Along his journey the farmer is influenced by strange forces to elicit the aid of two very different men played by James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope, Matewan) and Burt Lancaster (The Killers, From Here to Eternity). Jones and Lancaster play two particularly moving characters, each on a journey of his own to fulfill a long lost desire, one to play professional baseball and the to experience the game to its fullest. Jones is an award-wining writer who had an effect on the beat generation, and Lancaster plays an elderly small town doctor who has recently passed away. Like most of the other men they have absolutely nothing in common except for a shared love of a national pastime so deep it is best expressed by the playing of the game itself.

After completing his quest, saving his farm and fulfilling the requests made by the voices in his head, Costner is finally given the opportunity to play a game of catch with his long dead father. The emotional moment that passes between the two is far deeper than any they shared while the father was alive. It is a poignant scene that any person can understand, male or female, sports enthusiast or not. It also qualifies as the best scene ever depicted demonstrating the simple solution to the complicated question of communicating with family. As the very wisest of parents have already discovered themselves: when words become useless the best communication between a parent and child is in the moment itself.

Athlete or not, you will undoubtedly love the timeless themes expressed within Field of Dreams. But it’s likely you’ll enjoy them even more so if you’ve got a dad and a son in your life who enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company even in silence. Who needs a whole bunch of fancy words getting in the way? The feelings are there, they just don’t have to talk about them to appreciate them or each other.

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