In Your Dreams

I just finished watching the movie Field of Dreams and I’m a wreck.

Why does this film about a guy and his baseball diamond-in-a-cornfield always get to me? Field of Dreams was dismissed by some critics as a bunch of shameless schlock when it premiered in 1989 but a far greater number now regard it as perhaps one of the greatest movies about baseball ever produced.

It’s not really about baseball for me. Ray Kinsella could have built a cricket pitch out there in the dew-laden, Iowa back forty for all I care.

This is a film about what could have been, what should have been and what might still be. It’s about connections, family connections, that can evaporate before you have the chance to turn on your heel. And it’s about second chances…the kind of second chances that all of us would love to have but which exist only in the wee dark hours of your deepest sleep.

There’s a scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s film Peggy Sue Got Married when Kathleen Turner’s character, after magically returning to her adolescence, picks up the phone and hears her long since departed grandmother’s voice. I can’t watch that scene. What wouldn’t we all give to be able to revisit something that precious?

Field of Dreams is like that too. Sure it’s a little goofy and esoteric and phantasmagorical but in the end it’s just about the things that were never said between a father and a son. It’s about the unfinished business of a damaged life that finally gets some closure. And it happens through a simple game of catch.

It makes a lot of us wish there really were tell-tale whispers in the cornfield.


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