I'm a crier. I cry at the Little Mermaid, I get choked up when telling my kids how much I love them and any feel-good story? Guaranteed waterworks. Beneath this tough exterior is a pile of mushy goo. So to celebrate the ending of winter and the dawning of baseball season, we watched Field of Dreams Tuesday night and like any classic, I can't NOT watch when it's on. Even when death by drowning teardrops is all but certain.
I was originally planning on doing a review/recap but instead decided to focus on the feelings. Mine mostly because this is my blog after all.
Feeling #1 - Kevin Costner is more believable as Ray Kinsella than pretty much any other character he's played. You know what, this might actually be more of a fact than a feeling but whatever. The point was that his character's earnestness and stoicism that covered a true dreamer really made the ludicrous act of listening to disembodied voices in the cornfield and the DOING WHAT THEY TOLD HIM TO DO actually seem like a pretty darn good idea. Like plowing under half your corn crop to build a baseball field for the ghosts of the great players of the past. It doesn't hurt that I have a massive girl-crush on Amy Madigan (who played his wife Annie) and their chemistry was pretty darn terrific.
Feeling #2 - If I could have James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman read me to sleep every night, well, Dylan might have to check into a monastery. But seriously, is there any more commanding, soothing, reasonable, sexy voice than that of Darth Vader? I think not.
Feeling #3 - The dreamer in Ray or really, in all of us, captivates and inspires others as evidenced by the way that he convinces a thoroughly reluctant and skeptical Terence Mann to accompany him to a Red Sox - A's game by effectively employing genuine befuddlement at what is going on with threat of a finger gun. Okay, fine; he essentially kidnapped the embodiment of the 60s, luring him into a cross country journey based solely on a wing and a prayer. (Note: this is how cults start. Just sayin'.)
Feeling #4 - While Burt Lancaster is magnificent as old Dr. Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham, the jarring disparity in height between Young Archie and Old Archie just makes me weep for what might have been. I love Dr. Graham; he is at peace with his decisions, acknowledging some lingering regret for not seeing the moment you wanted more than anything for what it was, but also looking at pride for what he has accomplished and the good he has done. I kind of just want to rock him like a baby, stroke his hair and whisper that you are just So. Damn.Special. Then when he voluntarily gives up his dream (again) to save Ray and Annie's daughter from choking to death, my heart was in my throat. And when the players gave him a standing ovation for his selfless and heroic act, well, my throat released the tears and down they coursed. Nobility gets me every single time.
Feeling #5 - Timothy Busfield is some kind of movie genius for not reacting while walking through a baseball game with unstable players ready to rip his head off. He bore the unpleasant task of being the 'villain' in the movie without any real villain. Without a crop to sell, the Kinsellas can't pay their mortgage and are about to lose their farm and home and his character, Mark, is Annie's brother and...banking associate type person who has the delightful pleasure of telling his sister, yeah, because your husband is a lunatic, you're going to lose everything so good luck with that. He eventually sees the ghosts, er, light and we are left to assume that he'll fight on the side of dreamers everywhere now. (Yes, it's probably either green screen or spliced together or some other magic but COME ON. He walked through a friggin' baseball game without acknowledging it in the slightest.)
Feeling #6 - There is one unifying theme that I took away from the movie (besides listening to strange voices telling you to do things) and that is everyone is looking for redemption, a second chance. And sometimes that second chance takes a form you don't expect. For Ray, getting to play catch with his dad as a young man one last time; for Terence, the fanning to life of the flame of writing that had laid dormant for so long and for Moonlight Graham, the opportunity to do what he never got a chance to do in life, take a big league at bat. Who among us hasn't regretted something done or said and was never able to make amends or reparations before it became too late?
Gifts come to us in myriad and mysterious ways and we'd best be open to the possibilities 'ere they pass us by.
Hey Dad, Happy Birthday; you want to have a catch?