Well, shit. Last night I watched The Natural starring Robert Redford and was more than a little surprised to learn that the movie, directed by Barry Levinson, is a baseball flick supported by Homeric scaffolding. A young cocksure baseball player named Roy Hobbs pursues fame and glory. His dream is sidetracked for 16 years after his stomach is pierced by a bullet (Homeric mythos, say hello to Christian mythos). On his journey home, Roy has perilous encounters: with a majority team owner who lives in a dark, unlit office like a cave, with an alluring seductress, and with a one-eyed gambler who offers Roy 20K to throw a game. After navigating the Scylla of money and the Charybdis of honor, Roy is finally reunited with his faithful, childhood sweetheart, played by Glenn Close, and the son he never knew he had. Of course, you probably knew this already. Not me. It was a welcome surprise. My only grievance is that Close’s role in Fatal Attraction atavistically intruded into the movie. Even during her most angelically radiant scenes, I kept expecting her to go all hysteric and boil a pet rabbit.
Of gods & heroes, and how to hit a Homer