Date: 3rd November 2000

Movie Reviews: Bagger Vance

It may boast such movie icons as Will Smith and Matt Damon in front of the camera and Robert Redford behind it, but The Legend of Bagger Vance will not have an easy go of it at the box office if its reviews are any indication. Clearly critics are deeply divided over this period piece. On the one hand, Rita Kempley in the Washington Post writes that Vance "is a slight, disingenuous script that robs the characters of their histories, deprives the actors of subtext and minimizes the odds each must overcome." Of Smith's role, in particular, Kempley writes, "Isn't it time to put Stepin Fetchit to rest?" On the other hand, Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times must have been seized by inspiration after seeing the movie: "Will Smith could make Bagger Vance insufferable, but the part is written and played to make it more of a bemused commentary ... all oblique and understated. No violins. Is he a real person or a spirit? You tell me. The photography by Michael Ballhaus makes the great course look green, limitless and sad -- sad that every shot must fall and every game must end. There is a dusk here that is heartbreaking, like the end of every perfect summer day...

Source: Studio Briefing



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