When it's not serving as a promotional tool for the venerable Virginia Military Institute, "Field of Lost Shoes" proves an impressively rendered if decidedly old-fashioned retelling of the
It takes a while for the script by David M. Kennedy, Thomas F. Farrell II and Ron Bass to lay out the deep historical context of this true story set in 1864. Between introducing the era's array of political and military figures, the many cadets of VMI, a household of young women who tend to the soldiers and various slaves and slave traders, it can all get a bit dizzying. Meanwhile, identifying title cards feel more like crutches than clarifiers.
But things kick in once Lt. Gen.
The war scenes and their aftermath are involving and emotionally sound as well as skillfully shot and edited. And if several moments smack of revisionist history, perhaps best to ascribe them to dramatic license.
Director Sean McNamara's ("Soul Surfer") handsome production is well supported by a large cast that includes Lauren Holly, David Arquette, Keith David, Gale Harold and fine younger actors such as Nolan Gould, Luke Benward, Zach Roerig, Josh Zuckerman, Parker Croft and Mary Mouser.
"Field of Lost Shoes."
MPAA rating: PG-13 for war violence, thematic elements.
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.