Magical film; Great DVD
R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 06/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Only Robert Redford's 2nd directorial effort, this film is purely from the heart. This is a true ensemble piece, worthy of Altman, and Redford's love of the land is quite appropriate. I was most impressed with the fact that this film is about Mexican/Native American types, and found no need for sex, drugs, blood or real violence (that stuff seems to prevail when regarding cultural differences). How refreshing. Foremost is the fact that this has a whimsical element of fantasy, and a quasi David/Goliath subtext. I was especially amused when the old man was playing chess with the Angel (a bit of Bergman, perhaps?). Aside from the gorgeous vistas of New Mexico, beautifully photographed, it is Dave Grusin's Oscar-winning score that is most intriguing (it's ONLY Oscar nomination). The lovely guitar of Angel Romero is prevalent throughout, adding to Grusin's 5/8 time with endless modulations, suggesting that this is a land that will go on forever. The acting is wonderful, without exception. The previous reviewers have all failed to mention how strong Chick Vennera was in the lead role. So very handsome, and so un-self-conscious. A wonderful performance. If there would be a second lead, it would have to be Carlos Riquelme as the old geezer that everyone thinks is nuts, but actually talks to Angels. Sonia Braga, John Heard, Daniel Stern, Nancy Mandragon, and especially, James Gammon, were all solid. I love this film a lot, because it really makes me feel good. And that music...it stays with you. Quite haunting. I recommend this film for families; no matter how poor you might be, financially, standing up for yourself and your integrity can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams."
An Angel, An Auto Mechanic and Redford....Deliver Miracles
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "The Milagro Beanfield War"....
Charming, feel good, witty, captivating, intriguing, delightful. These are just a few of the ways to describe this wonderful film. And that's just the story. The acting, the music, the direction and cinematography will all grab you from the first frame and not let go of you until the last, at which point you will wish there was more.
Milagro, New Mexico. Elev. 8400. A small and close knit town of families and friends, living and working together in hopes that someday they may actually pay off the balance on that washing machine(that doesn't work anyway). Jose (Chick Vennera) tries desperatly to get work with the new land development company that has just moved in on the town. There's going to be a golf course and beautiful homes built soon. No luck though, they will not hire the locals for these new jobs. Angered and frustrated, Jose takes a kick at the fixture that now blocks any water flow onto his land..oops...must of kicked something loose, water is now flowing(illegally) into his dried up beanfield, his once livelihood. He should really turn it off, shouldn't he? But he doesn't..and so it begins..."The Milagro Beanfield War". The poor townspeople must decide whether to take a stand together against the rich and powerful land developers. "Milagro" means miracle...just what this town will need!
The characters in this town will steal your heart, and have you rooting for them throughout the film. The fiesty Sonia Braga, who is Ruby the auto mechanic tries to work the apathetic town into standing up to what's right for them. Ruben Blades is marvelous as the town sherriff, caught between his loyalty and the law. A mesmerizning Carlos Riquelme is "Amarante", the elder of the town who is able to talk to and get advice from a delightful angel, and you won't want to miss one word of the conversations. Rounding the cast out nicely is John Heard, Daniel Stern, James Gammon, Melanie Griffith, and Christopher Walken, who adds his special touches as well.
Beautifully directed(as always) by Robert Redford, with a well deserved Academy Award winning score by Dave Grusin, one that really fits the mood of this film, and a story and characters you can really feel for, this is a not to be missed film.
Universal...PUHLEESE!....My tape is nearly worn out...A DVD of this film soon! Thanks.
the music from this film can be found here:Migration
Milagro beanfield War
Mike Blades | Columbus, Ohio | 01/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I typed up a review and do not know if I sent it, so I will resubmit. The movie was fantastic. Robert Redford accomplished something no other Director has been able to do. He depicted New Mexicans as they really are. I was born a Ohio State Buckeye but lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico from the age of three until I was fifteen. My mother is Hispanic and my father Anglo. My heart is New Mexican. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio but travel to New Mexico as often as I can. During my last three trips I have tried to obtain the Music to the movie, but have only come up with versions of some of the songs. The songs are truely New Mexican. This is the only problem I have with the Movie. No available Sound track. Can anyone give me information on how I can obtain the music to the film? Watching the movie and listening to the music places me back in New Mexico when I am feeling home sick. Once again, a fantastic film."
UNHERALDED BUT WELL WORTH A WATCH
D. McAllister | Somewhere in the Field | 02/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After his well-known, Academy Award-winning success with ORDINARY PEOPLE, Robert Redford directed the unheralded MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, a tale that speaks of the importance of the basics of life versus the onset of supposed progress, materialism and pride.
A small farmer makes the mistake of using water that isn't his to use in order to cultivate a parched and unproductive beanfield. Sonia Braga (STREETS OF LAREDO) stars as a mechanic in the farmer's New Mexico pueblo who supports the farmer and joins the "war" against the real estate developer who cares about nothing but himself and his profits. Ultimately the townspeople and the developers square off. You'll love the "hombre angel" that keeps popping up.
Enchantingly written THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR is a wonderful film. Frankly, I'm surprised that it doesn't have a stronger following. A great cast includes Ruben Blades as the sheriff and Christopher Walken as a corrupt state police officer. A movie you'll watch again and again!