Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pick Me Out a Winner, Bobby

Oh ho! Some of you took issue with yesterday's post, in which I suggested that Owen Wilson should play Robert Redford in a biopic.

I find Owen Wilson to be simply the most adorable actor working in movies today. And talented yada yada yada. But look at him! If you ask me, he's got the same low-key charm and sincerity, with a dash of devil-may-care humor, as Mr. Redford. I think he could totally pull it off. But we can agree to disagree, especially since Robert Redford fans are a bit, shall we say, protective, of their star.

Sundance and Waldo Pepper are very upset with you.
Anyway, thinking about Mr. Redford got me thinking about the best baseball movie EVER, The Natural. I am so ordering this movie on Amazon today. I wish I had it on VHS, which is how all great movies from the 1980s should be seen, but since I don't own a VCR, that seems a bit quixotic. I'm sort of ashamed that it's not already in my collection, because it really and truly is one of my favorite movies of all time.

The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an aging ballplayer who arrives in the major leagues out of nowhere and has a magical season. Which is kind of like saying that Gone with the Wind is about a chick who lived during the Civil War and got married a lot. It sucks as a description, is what I'm saying. The Natural is about dreams, love, hope, redemption, warm summer nights, home runs, and magic. And Robert Redford in an old-time baseball uniform. Hoo boy.

Outside of Diner (which, like The Natural, was directed by Barry Levinson), there may not be a better-cast movie in all of 1980s cinema. First of all, it stars Wilford Brimley and Richard Farnsworth, a double whammy par excellence.

Forget the Coreys. This is what the 80s were all about.
It's got an ultra-gritty Robert Duvall, a radiant Glenn Close, and a sultry Kim Basinger. And don't forget Joe Don Baker as The Whammer and Michael Madsen as Bump Bailey. Crap, if I don't see this movie in the next 24 hours I may suffer organ failure.

And the script...Well, there is no reason the script for The Natural should work. It's sentimental, contrived, often cliched, and of course the ending differs signifcantly from that of the novel on which the movie is based. Yet the script is awesome. It's endlessly quotable, which is the mark of a classic. (If you know what the title of this post is referring to, I'll bet you choked up a little when you read it, didn't you?)

Just in case you forgot *snif*
Plus, The Natural has that amazing Randy Newman score. You know, with that music:

How much money has Randy Newman made off that handful of notes since 1984? Not enough.

Basically, I'm not going to get anything else done today because now I'm obsessing over The Natural. It's been too long since I've seen this movie. I've got to get my Wonderboy fix.

I still think Owen Wilson would make an excellent Robert Redford. Although I'm honestly not sure he could pull off playing Roy Hobbs. But Owen, if they ever remake The Natural, please give it a shot.


  1. I'm tellin' ya, if I ever read that Owen Wilson is playing Robert Redford in a biopic, I will insist that it's a pure canard.

    (And for the record, yes, the title of today's blog made me choke up a little. Watching the clip made me weepy.)


  2. I agree 100% owen should play him.


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