And now I am a Movie Critic…

Standard

I know. I didn’t expect that either. I just like movies. I didn’t get to go to movies much with my former spouse. He couldn’t see the point in sitting in the dark for 2+ hours. He would watch Netflix because he “didn’t like TV,” and was sick of CNN.

Since being single, I have struggled with going to the movies. At first, I didn’t have anyone to go with. Never mind that I am my own best companion. Then I did “risk it all” to go be a loser sitting by myself in the theater. It was kind of good! Now, I have friends that call, or that I call, and we go to the movies.

Yesterday I saw Birdman. Blah. But today, I saw McFarland, USA with Kevin Costner. This is my review:
This movie will not get the attention it deserves. That is for two reasons. One; it only has one major star (Kevin), and Two; it is about teaching (which is sad). Mr. White is a “fallen” high school football coach with anger management issues. He is at the end of his marketable career with a wife and two young daughters. They pull into McFarland, California, in the central valley of our own country’s vegetable growing region. They actually have landed in “Mexico,” with its Spanish language and culture, family/friend values, work ethic, and traditional practices.

Mr. White doesn’t really “get it,” but his wife and girls do. After being relieved of his football coaching responsibilities, but not from his actual teaching job, Mr. White (irony now not lost) notices some of his PE students are pretty fast runners. And briefly summarizing, he organizes them into a Cross Country team that goes on to glory with a lot of good drama along the way.

I loved this movie, and actually felt really great leaving the theater, as opposed to feeling really confused after seeing Birdman the day before. (Don’t assume I am not deep enough to get Birdman.) Mr. White is a good man who isn’t really into teaching. He is into sports. His transformation makes us realize that teaching is about relationships, not about knowledge of subject or of “wanting to make a difference.” What happens is that teachers do make the difference by connecting with their students through empathy, understanding, and role modeling. Words are powerful. Actions are even more powerful.

Thanks Mr. White. Thanks Kevin Costner. And the Oscar should go to…

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