“McFarland, USA is inspired by a 1987 true story, in which an unlikely band of inexperienced young Latino runners with exceptional determination rise to become cross-country state champions under the leadership of their coach, Jim White.”
McFarland, USA Movie Review
McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, is an inspirational family friendly film that’s a winner. The movie is moving and full of hometown pride. Kevin Costner and the young actors pull off a riveting true version of the McFarland story. So much so, that the real life inspirations were very proud of the way the film turned out.
This picture plays a significant role in the boys cross-country training process. Coach Jim White needed these boys to be prepared for the hilly California terrain they would be competing in, so he utilized peanut mounds for training purposes. The Diaz brothers shared in their interview that the mounds portrayed in the movie were not as tough as the ones they actually trained on.
Grab your tissues ladies because this movie will tug at those heartstrings. It’s a movie worth “running” to….with the entire family. There’s great messages of hope and determination that you can expect from a Disney film.
Q: How was directing this movie different from movies you normally direct?
Niki: “It was the same ‘cause I like to work in a certain way. I figured out the way I work best. Which is real stories and real people.”
Q: What was it like working with Kevin Costner?
Niki: “It’s awesome. And yet there’s nobody more humble. I couldn’t have wished for a better partner….collaborator. Not only did he show up as an actor, but he showed up as himself and the man he is. He’s so honorable.”
Q: So what were some of the challenging aspects?
Niki: “What I completely underestimated was that virtually every scene in this movie has eight people in it. We were very, very clear — Disney and myself and everybody involved that this was not gonna be a movie about Kevin Costner saves a bunch of [Latino boys]. The central idea of this movie is that this is not a big white guy saving [Latinos] but a flawed guy that is redeemed as a coach, as a father, as a human being by these kids. And by their community.”