By Shirl Hollenberg

Hollywood MACFARlandSports is a challenge. So is growing up. And change does not come easy. Together these diverse themes are explored effortlessly in McFarland. Straight from the Disney Dream factory hails this inspirational and uplifting saga, fit for all to enjoy and learn from at Cineplex Odeon arenas around B.C.
No one likes to loose their job. Just this happens to one Jim White. Able to connect with audiences is reliable Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves). Tough times lead to hard decisions which sees Jim uproot his family to supposedly greener pastures in sunny California. Fast approaching storm clouds spell trouble for Jim as the family hits a rough patch when they move to the small, sleepy town of McFarland.
A teacher by trade Jim winds up working at the local high school. Mainly Mexicans make up the community which is a rural agrarian based lifestyle. Higher learning and motivation come in handy as Jim sees the potential that while some of these kids may not be Rhode Scholars they sure can run fast. Hard work and a desire to make something of the themselves, Against all odds, sees a white outsider work with a group of local loser misfits to take on the world in The running arena.
Based on a true story McFarland is a sweet and sincere emotional journey of watching people change and adapt while learning about themselves and others. Boys becoming men is part of the fun with McFarland as well as seeing people adapt to new surroundings. Costner is fully believable and at the top of his game here. Whether your a sports fan or not this tale of the human spirit is soaring fun well worth participating in.

McFarland (PG) ****