Kevin Costner’s return to the sports genre, a broad subject he so fiercely committed to throughout the 80s, will see him hitting the track as a high school sports coach. In McFarland, USA, he plays the grizzled Jim White. New to town, he takes on the challenge of rounding up his P.E. class and transforming them into a cross country team. Thrown into the mix are the usual tribulations of adolescence, familial struggles and the racial conflicts that the predominantly Latino team face.
Ahead of the film’s February release, Disney has now dropped a second trailer to stir up the crowds. Latching onto the same motifs as the first trailer, this sophomore preview catches us up on the background story before we get the chance to see the kids in action. Its focus is primarily on the town’s struggling status; a key element in the whole rags-to-riches story style.
Inspirational sports dramas are tricky to pull off. On one hand, they have the opportunity to uplift and truly influence audiences with their tales of rising underdogs and grumpy old-timers who turn out to be softies at heart. On the other hand, they can suffer the perils of sentimentality. With Whale Rider director Niki Caro at the helm of this pic, there’s the chance this film won’t fall victim to the latter.
McFarland, USA opens in theaters on February 20th.
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change.
Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
Source: The Playlist