This is the first time I've commented upon a film at IMDB, but after watching Field Of Dreams for the, ohh, dozenth or so time, I just wanted to share my ramblings and musings on this film.
I first saw this film almost a decade or so ago, I was watching it alone on video after idly looking through some tapes for something. I was caught by the amount of glowing recommendations on the cover, and although it seemed to involve lots of baseball, something that I have never been even remotely drawn to, I thought I'd give it a chance. An hour and 40 minutes later and I had dissolved into a steam of tears, that were only broken up by the smile stretched right across my face. To me, this is the closest film I've seen that I would consider being perfect. My favourite film is The Godfather, with Godfather Part Two right alongside, but no film gives me such an emotionally rewarding experience as Field Of Dreams. This truly is a film dipped in magic waters.
Why do I love this film so?
The acting right across the board is naturalistic and strong. We believe the characters when they say what they say and do what they do. The whole tone and design of the film let us believe in the choices the characters make, we want Ray to build the field and have Shoeless Joe appear, we want Terrance Mann to go Finway Park with Ray, we want Archie Graham to get to play his dream, and most of all, even though we don't expect it or see it coming (well I didn't), we want Ray to get to throw a catch with his dad.>
The design, again, is wonderful. The lighting, and cinematography make your eyes and your heart ache, the magic hour lighting, the little break in Ray's voice when he asks his dad if he wants to have a catch, the moment Doc steps over the field and into the present to save Karin, when Mark mouths "What the f..." upon first seeing Doc Graham, the score, the fact that they talk about smoking grass and trying acid in what is essentially a family film in content and marketing, when Archie Graham gets picked up on the way back home and says "Hi, I'm Archie Graham", the sheer MAGIC!!!
Anyone thinking they may even be slightly put off by thinking the film is a baseball film, don't be. It's not about baseball, the sport serves as the backdrop for a story about loss, reconciliation, parents and family, dreams and having the courage to go through them. It really is a universal and timeless film, which is a cliched saying, but this is really one of those cases where it more than justifies the comment. Simply beautiful.