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The Natural Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Robert Horton

From the sun-dappled heartland, a young man (Robert Redford, in soft lighting) emerges as maybe the best baseball player anybody's ever seen. On his way to the majors, he is cut down by an enigmatic black widow (Barbara Hershey) and vanishes for many years. When he reemerges, a silent mystery, he lands a spot with the New York team and begins tearing up the league--he's still the natural. Fans of the Bernard Malamud novel will be dismayed at the pure mythical hokum of this film, but baseball fanatics have been known to watch and rewatch this one; after all, it's constructed as a kind of shrine to the national pastime. Barry Levinson (Rain Man) directs the movie with an unabashed devotion to the game, although the film could use more of the realities of chewing tobacco and pine tar. Redford is fine, and Kim Basinger and Oscar-nominated Glenn Close are effective as the women in his life. The crowning touch is the soaring, extraordinary music by Randy Newman, the singer-songwriter turned orchestral composer.

Academy Awards

The Natural received Academy Awards nominations for Supporting Actress (Glenn Close), Art Direction/Set Decoration (Angelo Graham - Art Direction, Mel Bourne - Art Direction, James J. Murakami - Art Direction, Speed Hopkins - Art Direction, Bruce Weintraub - Set Decoration), Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel) and for Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Score: Randy Newman).

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Barry Levinson

Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Barbara Hershey, Robert Prosky, Darren McGavin, Joe Don Baker

Released: May 11, 1984

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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