The Natural Review

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Baseball player Roy Hobbs is struck down in his pomp when he is shot by an old woman. But he's back as an unknown middle-aged veteran who fires his team to the top of the league and leading the life he always should have.


The first of Barry Levinson’s directing-only assignments, this sentimental period drama about a gifted 1930s baseball player and perennial loser proved the director could handle a big league cast (Robert Redford, with Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger and Barbara Hershey in support) and epic imagery (in collaboration with the superb cinematographer Caleb Deschanel) although the material is unwieldy and too lovingly dwelt upon.

The ending cops out on the cynical sorrow of the novel, but compensates with a heroic moment of glory in the ball park.

An otherwise fine sports fantasy is dragged down by an overindulgence in sentimentality.