Wonderful bit of Americana told through that most American of sports, baseball. Director Barry Levinson fashions a mythic tale about an over-the-hill 1920s baseball player, Roy Hobbs, finally getting his shot at the big leagues with the fictional New York Knights. Robert Redford plays Hobbs, himself in many ways a stereotypical All-American boy. Hobbs seemingly comes out of nowhere and no one knows where this talented player came from or why it took him so long to appear in the majors. Hobbs quickly gains fame an attention, and while on his journey faces many challenges; tempted by seductresses, facing down dark corrupting forces, and the lure of money and fame. As with most American myths and tropes, they have their roots in other cultures. The mythology presented in "The Natural" seems heavily influenced by Greek Mythology, with Hobbs as a Homer-like hero on a journey to find home. Kim Basinger and Barbara Hershey plays a sirens. Darren McGavin and Robert Duvall plays dark, corrupting underworld god-like figures manipulating events. Glenn Close represents the home that Hobbs is seeking. Other actors of note in the film include Wilford Brimley as the team manager and Richard Farnsworth as an assistant coach. There's also strong supporting performances from Robert Prosky, Michael Madsen, Mike Starr, and Joe Don Baker in a small role that's a thinly veiled analogue for Babe Ruth. Randy Newman also deserve note for his beautiful score, as does director of photography Caleb Deschane. When a baseball smashes the ballpark lights in an explosion of sparks and rousing music are unforgettable and gorgeous. Barry Levinson has made some brilliant, including "Diner," "Avalon," and TV series like "OZ" and "Homicide: Life on the Street," but I think this film may be my favorite of all of his fine work.