This is one of my all time favorite movies. The story of a young man, disturbed by the image of his father's hero, and the haunting voice that drives him on to try to put right what has been made wrong so many years before. It is beautifully done. The score draws you in and holds you to a dream of life, where what is not earthly possible, becomes possible. Watching it again I realize that Ray's father was a part of the story from the very first, but it is disguised and shrouded in the mist of baseball's past. Like many of us, there were things that were not right, things that troubled Ray, things that went right to the core of who Ray was. The way I interpret the story, Ray is not able to come at it directly. It's too hard for him. And so it is his father's hero that plays on Ray's mind... Joe Jackson. It was a beautiful field, and so many of the shots of the Iowa sky were just breathtaking. I loved that there was a long wait between the building of the field and the point in time when something happened. A long fall, long nights, a long cold winter, and an empty field that held nothing but Ray's hope, his belief and his faith in following the voice. And as the finances start crushing in, there is little Karin telling him: "Daddy, there's a man on your lawn".I loved that, the little girl phrasing. And then, out in the dark, stands the solitary figure of Shoeless Joe Jackson.Joe's comments on the game, the things that he remembered, the smell of the fresh cut grass, the feel of a baseball sinking into your mitt, the well oiled leather of a well worked glove, the sound a bat makes when you connect, that good solid feel when you got the sweet spot of the bat on it, getting all of it. Any of us that have played baseball or football or any of a number of games can recall those types of things about the games of our youth. Things of times now put aside, times that we dearly loved, when we could hang out with our teammates, play hard, enjoy the simplicity of those younger days, to play with all your heart and to master the simple fluidity of the game. And behind all of it, for most of us, there is the memory of starting out, with that first catch with our Dad. It's all a part of it. When Joe recounts it all, shakes his head in regret and says:"Shoot... I would have played for nothing"I can relate to those words.
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