The Natural Reviews
The message is: Baseball is purely and simply a matter of divine intervention. At about the 130-minute mark, I got the idea that God's only begotten son was playing right field for the New York team.
Levinson must have felt he had to swing for the fences. He can be forgiven for choking up with all The Natural's fans looking on dubiously. In fairness, the official scorer must credit him with a single. And Redford with an RBI.
Barry Levinson deviates considerably from the wry, ironic tone of Malamud's novel, and if the film is mildly enjoyable it's due to the acting of the supporting cast and polished production values.
Somewhat overly sentimental, lacking the novel's subtlety, and less interesting when the action leaves the ball park, Barry Levinson's beautifully shot film is nonetheless a charming fairy tale.