The Legend of Bagger Vance
The Legend of Bagger Vance ★★½ 2000 (PG-13)
Director Redford misses the cut by presenting golf as a mystical experience instead of a bunch of guys in funny pants torturing a lawn. Rannulph Junuh (Damon) returnsfrom WWI a vastly changed man. The former golf golden boy seems content to squander the rest of his life drinking at the 19th hole. His former girlfriend Adele (Theron), facing a pile of debts, convinces him to participate in an exhibition against golf giants Bobby Jones (Gretsch) and Walter Hagen (McGill) to showcase her new course. As he's shanking practice shots in every direction, the mysterious Bagger (Smith) appears, offering him guidance about golf and life in Eastern philosophy sound bites. Junuh finds his “Authentic Swing” with the help of Bagger, but it may be too late to catch his competition. Beautiful scenery, but the pace is a little too slow (just like golf!). Fits in well with the flawed American hero theme that has run through Redford's work since his turn as Jay Gatsby. Based on the novel by Steven Pressfield. Once upon a time director Redford wanted to star himself before deciding he was too mature for the part. 127m/C VHS, DVD . Matt Damon, Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jack Lemmon, Bruce McGill, Lane Smith, Harve Presnell, Peter Gerety, Michael O'Neill, Thomas Jay Ryan, Joel Gretsch, J. Michael Moncrief; D: Robert Redford; W: Jeremy Leven; C: Michael Ballhaus; M: Rachel Portman.