Movie Review of "Field of Lost Shoes"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2014 movie starring Lauren Holly and David Arquette.

Synopsis: A dramatic re-telling of the Battle of New Market in 1864, a battle that required the Confederate Army to arm students at the Virginia Military Academy to reinforce their ranks against approaching Union soldiers.
Thovie stars Jason Isaacs, Lauren Holly, David Arquette, Nolan Gould, Luke Benward and Tom Skerritt.

My Review

My wife had to volunteer at the ice rink yesterday and took my oldest daughter with her. Since I was home with my youngest daughter, I ended up watching a movie while we were eating lunch and, after looking at some other options, I ended up picking this film.

Prior to discovering it on Netflix, I had never hear of this movie and, under most circumstances, probably wouldn't have watched it. However, when I read the description, I was somewhat intrigued by the fact it was told from the Confederate point of view (something I rarely see in movies about the Civil War) and figured I would at least watch a few minutes of it to see what it was about. As it turns out, it was a pretty good movie.

Since there is only the one battle, the movie does take a little bit to get going. However, the writers do an excellent job introducing us to the various characters that play a big role, whether it's the students at the Virginia Military Academy or Union General Ulysses S. Grant (Skerritt).

One thing I found intriguing about this movie was the wide range of opinions about slavery. Based on what I learned in school (and I've always thought that was somewhat limited), I figured it would be pretty black and white with the Confederate soldiers being all for protecting their right to own slaves. However, that wasn't the case. Instead, the various southern characters had opinions that ranged from wanting to protect the Southern way of life to being all-out opposed to slavery but fighting because they wanted to protect their friends and family. This is the type of thing most Civil War movies leave out and I liked it because it definitely gave a different point of view than I'm used to seeing.

When the movie finally got around to it, the battle scene was actually pretty intense with some unexpected outcomes. And, when the Confederate soldiers won (something I wasn't sure would happen because, up until this movie, I honestly didn't know much about this battle), I told my daughter I wasn't sure if I was supposed to cheer or not because, while it was obviously the side that didn't win the war, the movie did manage to get me to care about the people who were fighting on it.

I will say this about the movie, the end is also very intense and emotional. This is both because of the immediate aftermath of the battle (with some beloved characters dead or dying) and the way the movie shows the very solemn ceremony that is still performed, to this day, at the Virginia Military Academy in remembrance of the battle and those who were killed. It's definitely something that makes this movie more of a drama than an action film and made it very memorable for me.

Field Of Lost Shoes

Based on a true story of the American Civil War, culminating at the Battle of New Market, May 1864. A group of teenage cadets sheltered from war at the Virginia Military Institu...

View on Amazon

Final Opinion

I wasn't sure if I would even like this movie when I first started watching it. But, overall, this turned out to be a very interesting and even somewhat emotional movie that I enjoyed watching. If you haven't seen it, I recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 02/15/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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