Alternately affecting and affected, Field of Dreams is a fable about redemption and reconciliation that uses the mythos of baseball as an organizing metaphor.
Kevin Costner plays Ray Kinsella, a new-age farmer who has come to Iowa’s cornfields with his college sweetheart (Amy Madigan).
In the fields one day Costner hears a celestial voice that cryptically advises: ‘If you build it, he will come.’ Once he convinces himself and his family that he’s not going crazy, Costner sets out to sculpt a beautiful baseball diamond from his precious cornfield.
The whole town thinks the outsider has gone bonkers, but one night Costner’s faith is rewarded: the spirit of Shoeless Joe Jackson, the most precipitously fallen of the disgraced World Series fixers, the 1919 Chicago White Sox, materializes on his ballfield.
Fully in the grip of supernatural forces, Costner leaves the farm on a cross-country pilgrimage to find the Boston home of America’s best-known reclusive writer (James Earl Jones) – a cultural demigod depicted as a cross between J.D. Salinger and Bob Dylan.
Costner, Shoeless Joe, Jones and Burt Lancaster (a failed dead baseballer) are all haunted by regrets over failed relatonships, life-shattering mistakes and missed opportunities. All yearn for a collective second chance at inner peace. In spite of a script hobbled with cloying aphorisms and shameless sentimentality, Field of Dreams sustains a dreamy mood in which the idea of baseball is distilled to its purest essence: a game that stands for unsullied innocence in a cruel, imperfect world.
1989: Nominations: Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score