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FIELD OF DREAMS, 1989
Movie Reviews!

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FIELD OF DREAMS, 1989 MOVIEFIELD OF DREAMS, 1989
Movie Reviews

Director: Phil Alden Robinson

Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan, Gaby Hoffman, Timothy Busfield, Burt Lancaster

Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field tell him, "If you build it, he will come." He interprets this message as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose for his field.

REVIEW:

FIELD OF DREAMS is the idealist side of my personality. Heavy on the sentiment and thick on the themes and passions of life that I also represent. I believe in everything in FIELD OF DREAMS and in a lot of ways it's how I live my life. Not to mention that I am a rapid baseball fan as I fell for this sport right away, despite all of the roadblocks that were in my way. I was raised in Canada and hockey is always #1 and #2 is a very distant 2nd. None of my friends growing up didn't like the sport all that much either. But my dad did, eventhough he wasn't a raving fun of the game life I am.

So FIELD OF DREAMS has me hooked and I must watch this film at least once a year.

When I was taking acting classes in order to understand what these people do so I could direct them one day, I chose the James Earl Jones'"people will come" monologue from this film when I had to do a class assignment. And I still have that monolog memorized. I was a terrible actor but I had everyone convinced when I performed because it felt so close to my heart. The teacher and my fellow classmates were actually shocked how good I was because I never could get out of my head in anything previously that I did in the class. That's when I realized what acting was all monolog need to convince your heart that way you're saying or doing is true. And monolog that truth in the context of the character and story you're doing. And if you can do that, then you're a great actor. I can only do that for the FIELD OF DREAMS monolog.

The main character Ray follows his instincts and builds a baseball field because voices are telling him to. Usually that leads to going into the insane asylum, but for Ray it gives him and others their spark of life back. The 1919 Black Sox get to come back and play the game they love. A past ballplayer gets his chance to have that at bat in the majors. And a once great writer who has hidden in seclusion for 20 years comes back to write the mysteries of the human heart (or at least that's what I think happens when he enters the cornfield). But what's in it for Ray? That finally comes in the tearful ending of this film that makes me cry everytime I see it.

If you happen to be a son to a father, a father to a son, or both, FIELD OF DREAMS will bring back a lot of feelings. I think of my relationship with my father and that's why I always cry in the end. My dad and me haven't spoken for years and we probably will never speak again. I wish we could but I always got the feeling every since I was very young that my father didn't like me much. And because he hasn't gone out of his way to talk to me, I believe my instincts are true now. If I'm not around, then I don't exist in his eyes!

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I was a strange kid growing up. I asked weird questions and never really had any interest with the world I was born into. There wasn't one person in my environment doing something that I ever cared to do. That put me into a depression at a very young age and I cried a lot at the littlest of things. I pretty much thought that this world was what the religious folks would call "hell" and I therefore sunk into any shell I could find as soon as possible. Later on, I learned how to "play the game", as I like to call it. Be normal, have friends and do what they do. Just to make others feel more comfortable about themselves when I was around.

My father was a man who worked hard and had tremendous discipline and because of those two great qualities, was a success in his field of Engineering. I never thought of him as a smart man because he never was curious about anything and rarely read a book. He had his things in his life and that was good enough. And he expected his children to live in the prism that he created. He would help you if it was about something in his world. If not, then you were on your own. So therefore I was always on my own.

So the ending of FIELD OF DREAMS touches me a great deal. It's because I wished I wanted to play catch with my father again. But I really don't because I really don't like the man that much. But why is this? I wished all the money I have that I could feel what Ray feels in this film. That love for his father and regret that he didn't have the best relationship with him. That passion inside of his heart and soul for the man that made him. I want to have that feeling so bad and I'm crying right now just writing about it.

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FIELD OF DREAMS