McFarland, USA is based on an inspirational true story from 1987. A young group of Hispanic boys from an impoverished community develops their natural running talents to become cross country champions.
Source: Walt Disney Studios
In the movie, the ex-football coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, finds himself at McFarlane High School in California, after losing his job following a line of dismissals. Once spotting the hard working and innate running talents of some his PE students, he forms a school cross country team. Through much perseverance and overcoming cultural hurdles, he supports and develops the boys into winners.
The story is a feel good, somewhat clichéd fairy tale, although it is based on true story. It encompasses valuable themes of self-belief, cultural barriers, tolerance, teamwork, hard work and discipline, equality, community, parenting, education, family values and perseverance.
Throughout the movie, the viewer develops a warm affinity to the boys, their dedication and hard work to assist their parents by working in the fields before and after school, and their loving relationships with their families.
In the post-credits, it was interesting to read about the real characters. It tells you what they went on to do after winning their first championship. The discipline they learned from their sport eventually takes them from the low paying “picking” fields where their families work to wider opportunities for college, coaching and beyond.
McFarland, USA is a Disney film. However, its’ longer length of 128 minutes may lose a few of the younger viewers on the way. But if like me, you are a softy for a heart warming sports drama, you should enjoy this one! Particularly as this one also based on a true story. Check out the official Disney trailer below for a preview of the film.
Rating – PG (for thematic material, some violence, and language)
Genre – Sports Drama
Time – 128 minutes
Director– Niki Carocm
Cast – Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Hector Duran, Rafael Martinez, Carlos Pratts, Sergio Avelar, Ramiro Martinez, Johnny Ortiz, Jamie Michael Aguero
Date released – 2015
Official Disney Trailer