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‘Field of Dreams’ to play in perfect setting

July 29, 2010
It’s been 21 years since “Field of Dreams” first hit the big screen but like with all great cinema, its classic nature allows us to continue to enjoy it today. A movie as much about daring to dream as it is about baseball, “Field of Dreams” will finish out the summer’s Movies in the Park series hosted by the Oxford Park Commission.
Playing on the fields at FNC Park on Friday at dusk, the experience should be unforgettable. As many times as I have seen the film, I’ve never quite seen it in such a perfect setting and I can imagine just how much sitting on a field will add to the visceral experience.
Starring Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, a farmer from Iowa, he begins to hear a voice telling him to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn fields. His wife, played by Amy Madigan, supports his dream despite every one else opposing it. As the strain of making his dream a reality begins to take financial turns, Kinsella forges through — determined to follow the voice.
Along the way he meets author Terrance Mann, brilliantly played by James Earl Jones, who delivers one of my all time favorite monologues.
“Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh … people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
Call me sentimental but this is one of those movies that just gets me every time. Daring the impossible for something you love, risking everything for a hope, honoring our past while building our future. These things are expressed beautifully in this little baseball movie. “Field of Dreams” reminds us just for a moment just how important reaching out for something greater could change everything. It is Mann’s initial resistance and yet his eventual renewal of the idea of hope that brings depth to the fantastical film. And at the risk of sounding corny, Oxford Park Commission has built it, so I hope you will come.
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