The Natural (1984)

He lived for a dream that wouldn't die.

An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league.

The Wonder of Wonderboy.
The Natural is directed by Barry Levinson and adapted to screenplay by Roger Towne & Phil Dusenberry from the novel written by Bernard Malamud. It stars Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Barbara Hershey, Robert Prosky and Richard Farnsworth. Music is by Randy Newman and cinematography by Caleb Deschanel.
The Natural is a wistful sports movie, one that asks every person who views it to buy into the whimsy and mythologising on show. If able to do that then it's a film of beguiling beauty, awash with strength of the human spirit and of luscious technical credits. The Arthurian core to Roy Hobbs' (Redford a superb presence yet calmness personified) second chance ensures we always know this is fanciful stuff, but that's just fine, we are in Field of Dreams territory here and fans of such fare are rewarded royally. Period art design, photography and musical score are grade "A", snuggling up nicely with a support cast to Redford that is of high end proportions. If it's in you and you know what sort of film to expect, you may well, come the end, be punching the air whilst having a tear in your eye. Lovely film making. 8.5/10

TriStar Pictures by Barry Levinson, Bernard Malamud, Roger Towne, Phil Dusenberry.
Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger.

Genres: Drama, Sport

Keywords: corruption baseball attempted murder talent child prodigy sport femme fatale redemption lightning bolt

05/11/1984

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