On March 15, 2004, a story was posted on Sports Illustrated about a man by the name of Jim White and his experience in a small town in California that changes the whole town’s life. This article is the one that inspired the movie, Mcfarland USA.
Mcfarland USA, takes place in 1987 in Mcfarland, California. After Jim White is fired from his job, he moves his family to Mcfarland and becomes a gym teacher. When he notices how fast some of the kids are running during the mile, he has the idea to start a cross country team.
Kevin Costner, who plays Jim White does a nice job of portraying someone who is out of place, but tries so hard to make the best of it. Thomas Valles also does an exceptional job of getting into the role of Carlos. Carlos is a character who has a lot of stuff going on at home, but tries so hard at cross country and really succeeds. He feels anger and hurt for what is happening with the team in the beginning, but slowly perseveres and becomes better as he becomes the fastest runner on the team. We also see another side of him as he starts to care for Jim White’s daughter Julie.
The sound and visual in this movie is very fitting. The visual in the movie is very realistic for the time period, and portrays the scene very well.The story is moved along by these perfect visual and sound effects to make the movie that much better. The costumes that the characters are wearing perfectly reflect the amount of money and privilege that these latino families don’t have, compared to what Jim White’s family does have. The music perfectly compliments the story, changing from happy music during Julie White’s quinceanera, to darker deeper music when there is an attack right afterwards.
This movie is amazing for all audiences. Though it was produced by disney, this true story shares the importance of love, perseverance, strength, and overcoming obstacles that interests people young and old. It is appropriate for younger kids, and also offers a message to help kids around the world, but can offer that same message to adults as well. It’s the kind of movie that has you on the edge of your seat waiting for what could possibly happen next as Jim White attempts to make something out of a couple of latino high school guys at a small high school in a small town in California.