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Though it is never made explicit, Vance is an angel and the film is really about redemption, the golf scenes being a not exactly subtle metaphor for life itself. Some may find it corny and unoriginal; the movie has much in common with director Robert Redford's own The Natural (1984) as well as Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Field of Dreams (1989). Yet after a clunky opening Bagger Vance finds its swing and proves a delightful light romantic drama, with gorgeous cinematography, fine performances and a wonderful score by Rachel Portman.
On the DVD: The Legend of Bagger Vance on disc has an anamorphic transfer of the original 1.85-1 image, and though a little dark is very sharp and filled with detail and vibrant colours. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound does everything expected, being atmospheric and showcasing the score to good effect. Extras are a four-minute interview with Robert Redford and a three-minute "featurette" which is really an extended trailer to complement the teaser and conventional trailer also included. There are several pages of electronic press kit production notes, and biographies and filmographies of 18 of the film's stars and production personnel. As Redford believes commentaries and in-depth behind the scenes features ruin the magic of the movies this is as extensive a collection as is likely to appear. Finally there is a truly appalling trailer for the DVD of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. --Gary S Dalkin
Initially, Junah refuses, and the reason for the refusal is that he simply has lost his swing. A Deus Ex Machina now enters in the guise of Bagger Vance, charmingly played by Will Smith. Vance simply appears one night while Junah is out on his lawn trying out his swing. Vance persuades him to enter the tournament and offers to be his caddy. A deal is struck.
Junah enters the golf tournament, and as it progresses he gets better. He delves more deeply into himself under the gentle encouragement of Bagger Vance in order to find his "authentic" swing and, ultimately, finds a lot more. This movie does for golf, what "Field of Dreams" did for baseball.
The movie is narrated by Jack Lemmon who, as a young boy (J. Michael Moncrief) during the tournament, saw Junah transform himself under the guidance of Bagger Vance. It is the on screen Jack Lemmon who is summoned by Bagger Vance into the sunset at the end of the film. Just who was Bagger Vance? I say he was the proverbial guardian angel. Viewers, however, will differ on just who they think Bagger Vance really was.
The flaw in the movie is that it is like a Hallmark Card movie in that it sugarcoats everything and paints the past in a somewhat unrealistic manner. Here, a diverse population is depicted as mingling together in a most collegial fashion.Read more ›