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The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has announced the newest in its series of Storyline Online videos. Academy Award winner Kevin Costner has paired with his “Black or White” co-star Jillian Estell to read aloud Crystal Hubbard’s children’s book “Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream.” “We are incredibly grateful to Kevin and Jillian for volunteering their time to read for Storyline Online,” said SAG Foundation president JoBeth Williams in a statement. “We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect confluence of story and readers.” Storyline Online videos receive more than 4.7 million views monthly by children and classrooms worldwide. Each video includes a supplemental activity guide for children and classrooms watching, geared toward promoting verbal and written skills for those learning English worldwide. To see Costner and Estell read about Toni Stone, the first woman to play America’s favorite pastime in a men’s professional league, »
Black or White isn’t so much an offensive movie as it is a pointless one. On its surface, Mike Binder’s film about a widowed white grandfather fighting to maintain custody of his biracial grandchild from her paternal black grandmother has all the hallmarks of a white savior melodrama. Told from the point of view of wealthy Santa Monica attorney Elliot (Kevin Costner), who has recently lost his beloved wife to a car accident, the film details his struggles to raise 7-year-old Eloise (a charming Jillian Estell) while dealing with a bitter legal battle that ensues after Rowena (Octavia Spencer), mother to the child’s estranged father, decides that Eloise needs to have a better sense of her black identity.The film places us firmly within Elliot’s world: It opens with him in the hospital, and it’s grounded in his grief right from the get-go. He and »
- Bilge Ebiri
Black or White, 2015.
Directed by Mike Binder.
A grieving widower is drawn into a custody battle over his granddaughter, whom he helped raise her entire life.
Black Or White is one of the more refreshing racially charged dramas to come out in quite some time, namely because it isn’t a biopic. Instead, it is highlighting the current age we live in, tackling issues many people in the world might not feel comfortable discussing. And what makes Black or White work, despite some flaws, is just how earnest it is with its depiction of society.
Every character in this film, from the mourning alcoholic grandfather (Kevin Costner) to the junkie deadbeat father (Andre Holland) attempting to bring his life back onto the right track, to the sassy black grandma (Octavia Spencer) fighting for custody of the mixed-race »
- Robert Kojder
It’s a shame that Black Or White will only be remembered as another typical January release, because writer/director Mike Binder poses some very provocative questions about America’s current racial landscape – he just never gets around to answering them. Many films have previously begged audiences not to see race or color, only flesh and blood, but Binder emphasizes those wishes of coexistence by putting a child’s well-being at stake simply by playing the race card.
In a perfect world, there’d be unquestioned acceptance and a blind eye turned to physical differences, but we’re a hell of a ways away from a Utopian lifestyle, and the race card has transitioned from a social rights movement into an exploitable trump card in danger of losing credibility. Black Or White is a movie about love, commitment, and consciously assessing a situation that happens to involve parties of different color, »
- Matt Donato
Black or White is the story of a grandfather, Elliott Anderson (Kevin Costner), who is suddenly left to care for his granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell), by himself. But, when her paternal grandmother, Rowena Jeffers (Octavia Spencer), seeks custody with the help of her lawyer brother (Anthony Mackie), poor Eloise is caught between two families. With the best intentions, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding.
The writer/director of Black or White, Mike Binder, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is an award-winning and well-regarded actor, writer, director, and producer. Binder’s directorial debut came in 1992 with Crossing the Bridge and has included such acclaimed films as Reign Over Me (2007) and The Upside of Anger (2005), which also starred Costner. Actor Anthony Mackie, is perhaps best known as Sam Wilson/Falcon from Captain America: The Winter Soldier »
- Mike Tyrkus
Elliot (Costner) has raised young Eloise (Jillian Estell) since the death of her mother. Now that his own wife has passed away, the girl’s remaining grandparent Rowena (Octavia Spencer) begins to question whether the child should be exposed to a larger portion of the family, including her biological father. Pitted against one another in a fight over what is best for Eloise, the families must confront their feelings about race, understanding, and forgiveness.
Co-starring Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, and Andre Holland, the movie - which premiered back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival- is coming to select theatres this Friday. You can get a look at the film with four new clips below, plus check out five things we learned from the Black or White press conference now!
- Rachel West
The last few years several films concerning race relations in America have been released to much acclaim (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Academy Awards (12 Years A Slave), and big box office success (The Help). Just two weeks ago Oscar nominee Selma was given a wide coast-to-coast roll-out. But those true-life and fictional flicks were set in the past (Years over a century and a half ago). How about one set in the 21st century? Done, thanks to star/producer Kevin Costner and director/writer Mike Binder (they teamed ten years ago for the entertaining comedy/drama The Upside Of Anger). They’re going to try to shed a little light and start the healing with Black Or White.
The film begins as the affluent, tranquil life of high-priced La lawyer Elliot Anderson (Costner) is shattered when his beloved wife Carol (Jennifer Ehle) is killed in a car crash. Elliot must raise his grade school-aged, »
- Jim Batts
Dances with Wolves. Field of Dreams. JFK. And now, Black or White. That's how Kevin Costner, who not only stars in, but financed this highly approachable light drama about contemporary race relations, is pitching the film. In his varied and overall successful career, Costner has pitched a number of things, mostly baseballs. But, as age has no doubt forced him to hang up the bat and mitt, the venerable actor has seen fit to seize upon his established white-bread, leading man persona, and go out on a limb... to play a grandfather. (!) Eloise (Jillian Estell), his young granddaughter who's at constant risk of adorable-overload, is a bi-racial little girl whom Costner's character Elliot, and his wife, have been raising her whole life. It's been a...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Chicago – As race issues continue in the news, in the wake of Ferguson and “I Can’t Breathe,” the movies exhibit an extraordinary piece of timing with the new film “Black or White.” Oscar winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer participate in a story of family and healing.
The issue in the film involves “Black or White,” but mostly in the context of what the opposing families want for a biracial girl suddenly being raised by her white grandfather (Costner). Written and directed by Mike Binder (“The Upside of Anger”), the film explores themes of socioeconomic separation as much as opposing racial views, and mostly it shows that both sides care ultimately for the little girl. Kevin Costner also steps outside his usual character mode, playing the grandfather as a mourning and boozy figure of tragedy, and a morally vague arbiter of the racial issues that have been thrust upon him. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Kevin Costner re-teams with the writer and director of The Upside of Anger, Mike Binder, for his latest film, Black or White. In it, he plays Elliot Anderson who, as the movie starts, is widowed after his wife is killed in a car crash. This is only the latest tragedy to befall Elliot though, as he also lost his daughter to drugs years before, and all he has left in terms of family is his granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell).
In the process of dealing with his own grief, he is forced to contend with Eloise’s African-American grandmother Rowena (Octavia Spencer), who wants her back in the custody of her father Reggie (Andre Holland), a known drug addict that Elliot blames for the death of his daughter. Before he knows it, a custody battle heats up and Elliot becomes determined to keep Eloise living with him, as he feels he »
- Ben Kenber
"Do you hate black peoplec" "Not all of them..." This is the beginning of a courtroom exchange that takes place late in Mike Binder's Black or White and it absolutely, without a doubt, makes for the best couple of minutes in what is an otherwise unoriginal race drama involving a white grandfather fighting for custody of his half-black granddaughter. It's a scene that has something to say in a very honest, upfront way and it makes me wonder why Binder felt it was necessary to beat the audience over the head with stereotypes over the course of the rest of the film. Is it a lack of confidencec A fear of telling a racially charged story and not wanting to appear insensitivec What is itc Tackling racial issues is no easy feat, but sugar-coating things so it's easier to confront tough topics doesn't make it any better. Beyond racial themes, »
- Brad Brevet
In the film “Black and white,” Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer star in a drama in which the two fight for custody of their interracial grandchild.The premise of Costner’s movie is simple: An affluent White grandfather and a Black grandmother go head to head for full custody of their interracial grandchild.Grieving widower Elliot (Kevin Costner) is left as sole caretaker of his granddaughter, Eloise (Jillian Estell). He and his wife had raised Eloise since her birth, which took the life of their teenage daughter. The child’s father, Reggie (André Holland, who is excellent in Cinemax’s “The Knick” ), a crack […] »
- April Neale
With the Super Bowl kicking off Sunday, it seems somehow appropriate that we’re looking at another “American Sniper” blowout at the box office this weekend.
The NFL’s biggest game has seen more than its share of lopsided contests over the years, and if Las Vegas set odds on the movies, the breakout hit from Warner Bros. would be a 35-point favorite.
- Todd Cunningham
One of the interesting things about the month of January is that we not only see the expansion of Academy Award nominated films, but also the release of many would be contenders that simply weren’t recognized by Oscar. One such movie this month is Mike Binder’s Black or White, which happens to feature a tremendously good turn from Kevin Costner. When I saw the film a few months ago, I thought Costner had a chance to impact the Best Actor field…now, that obviously didn’t happen, but at this point others can finally see what I was talking about. Costner and Binder have something here with Black or White, which opens on Friday. The movie, which got a small qualifying run last month, is a drama centered around a custody fight over a little girl. Costner stars as an attorney caring for his mixed race granddaughter after his wife passes away. »
- Joey Magidson
Chicago – Kevin Costner has come to represent a particular brand of Americana, for his roles in films like “Field of Dreams,” “Dances with Wolves” “JFK” and recently as Pa Kent in “Man of Steel.” His latest film is “Black or White.”
“Black or White” is written and directed by Mike Binder, who Costner has previously collaborated with in “The Upside of Anger.” It focuses on Eliot Anderson (Costner), who loses his wife in a car accident as the film begins. He is left to raise their granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell), after he and his wife had adopted her when their daughter died in childbirth. Eliot’s daughter had hid the pregnancy, and the father was an African American man. The other side of Eloise’s family, led by matriarch Rowena (Octavia Spencer), challenges Eliot for custody of Eloise, and retains Rowena’s high powered lawyer brother Jeremiah (Anthony Mackie) to process the trial. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
"Black or White" opens nationwide this Friday, January 30, via Relativity... Is it any wonder that a movie as lazily titled as “Black or White” fails to actually tackle issues of race and class in any meaningful way? Is it any wonder, when its writer and director is Mike Binder, a (white) filmmaker whose approach to storytelling has often lacked any semblance of nuance and subtlety? The movie, apparently “based on true events,” is about a custody battle over a 7-year-old biracial Eloise (charming child actress Jillian Estell), between her wealthy and recently widowed white grandfather Elliot (Kevin Costner), and black grandmother Rowena (Octavia Spencer). When the movie begins, »
- Zeba Blay
toofab has teamed up with Relativity to give one lucky winner a $250 gift card prize pack from "Black or White."The film follows a widowed grandfather (Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter (Jillian Estell). When her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply.Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white."Black or White" hits theaters on January 30th, 2015. The giveaway includes:- OpenTable gift card ($100)- Fandango gift card ($50)- Shutterfly gift card ($50)- Amazon gift card ($50) The winner will also receive a branded hoodie, oversized scarf and travel mug. To enter: 1. Follow @toofab on Twitter and "Like" toofab on Facebook 2. Fill out the entry form below. »
- tooFab Staff
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 30 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new film “Black or White” starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie and introducing Jillian Estell!
To win your free “Black or White” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The theater was flush with pride at last night’s premiere of Mike Binder’s custody battle drama, “Black or White,” held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live — where star and producer of the film, Kevin Costner, and cast members Octavia Spencer, Bill Burr and plucky tween newcomer Jillian Estell came out to screen the movie and celebrate.
“This is a really well-produced movie, and when you make a movie, you’ve got to have people who are creative and resourceful and work long, crazy hours,” Kavanaugh told the crowd. “I love you, Mike Binder, and I just want to make another movie with you. We all love you, Mike Binder.”
Binder spoke openly and honestly about the film’s challenge to find a studio distributor, thanking both Kavanaugh »
- Malina Saval
In the upcoming feel-good film "Black or White," Kevin Costner plays a man named Elliot who's raised his granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell) her entire life. After Elliot's wife dies, Eloise's other grandmother Rowena, played by Octavia Spencer, makes a play for shared custody of Eloise. Legal wrangling and life lessons ensue in this family drama from Mike Binder ("Reign Over Me," "The Upside of Anger").
This exclusive clip shows Elliot sharing a moving moment with young Eloise as he breaks some sad news about her grandma.
"Black or White" opens January 30. »
- Jenni Miller
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