The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)with Chick Vennera, Ruben Blades, Sonia Braga, Christopher Walken. In a small New Mexico town a big developer plans to uproot much of the Hispanic population to build a resort. A farmer with his beanfield stands in the way. Part congenial humor, part satire, part serious message. In my view probably the best movie Robert Redford has directed because he spares us the heavy-handed civics lectures
Since I retired in 1995 I have tried to hone skills in muttering to myself, writing and napping. At 75, I live in one of those places where one moves from independent living to hospice. I expect to begin … more
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Robert Redford's underrated directorial follow-up to his Academy Award-winningOrdinary People,The Milagro Beanfield Waris a loose and whimsical fable about community pride and social activism in the face of modern progress. Sonia Braga (Kiss of the Spider Woman) plays a local mechanic in a small New Mexico town who takes up the challenge of rallying support for a local farmer who uses water owned by a real estate developer to grow beans in his field. Everything escalates to a showdown between the townspeople and the developers, with unexpected results. The strongest aspect of the film is the way it doesn't take itself too seriously, with Redford adopting a leisurely tone and allowing his fine cast (including Ruben Blades as the pragmatic town sheriff and Christopher Walken as a nasty state police officer) to deliver finely nuanced performances that touch on themes of faith and perseverance without seeming heavy-handed.The Milagro Beanfield Waris an overlooked gem.--Robert Lane