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|Index||12 reviews in total|
13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Splendid, gorgeous, beautiful, human: right up there with "North and South", 9 August 2001
Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain
One of those grandiose episodic films, in this case based on Alex
Haley's mother Queen (Halle Berry) living through the traumatic
experiences of the end of slavery. This is a great slice of American
history, beautifully filmed and with an extraordinary cast and
excellent ambientation. Such that you feel you are right there with
them in the tobacco plantations, enjoying and suffering throughout
Queen's life her happy and anguishing moments. The gorgeous (any other
adjectives, anybody?) Halle Berry enacts the best rôle of her life. You
will never see anything better by her.
Shown here on Spanish National Television (RTVE) in just one episode in the middle of the summer a few years ago: you might say 260 minutes (plus the advertisement breaks) for an epic saga is pure masochism. No; not at all: this is a gripping and powerful production, masterfully portraying human feelings, suffering, joy .. OK: you need to get up, take a walk around the house during the commercials, make a pot of coffee, phone your mother-in-law and tell her what she is missing, take a cold shower around the 180 minute break, and so on but it is worthwhile. Apart from 'North and South' (1985/1986) nothing else is comparable. And that is what most surprises me: very few voters on IMDb and nobody has troubled to write a commentary (as of August 2001).
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
From The Back Of The Box, 8 February 2002
Author: viewerschoice from Great White North
There are two sides to every story, the saying goes. For Alex Haley, one
side was ROOTS, the towering chronicle tracing seven generations of his
mother's family. The other side comes to the screen in QUEEN, the
history of the paternal side of the author's family.
David L. Wolper is executive producer of this acclaimed adaptation of the
story Haley was working on when he died. Halle Berry plays Queen, daughter
of a slave and a plantation owner. During the turbulent decades of the
antebellum South, the Civil war, Reconstruction and beyond, she searches
a home in the two cultures of her heritage-and at times is shunned by
Rejection and hate are no match for her unconquerable will,
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Sorry I never commented on this before, 20 May 2004
Author: olasimbi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is very interesting that a lot of the actors that played memorable characters in the film have pretty good careers today. I was looking at the list and I was like, "He was not in that film!" "WHAT".
Again, if you look at my other comments, you will know that I love epic films and this was another one my parents just bothered to record when it played on TV years ago. (I really need to thank my parents for taking the time one of these days.) Again, this is a film I last saw in 1998. I made sure I watched it when I left it, stupidly enough, so that I could remember the entire thing as long as possible. Halle was awesome, her attitude, body language, speech, she was made for this role, and I could say vice versa. This is the one movie that made me acknowledge the fact (when she was still Oscarless) that she indeed deserved, and would soon be getting an Oscar. She conveyed the passion and pain of her character's journey. Indeed, I cannot distinguish Halle from Queen in my mind, they are synonymous. It was well written, well casted, and well received by me. If you doubt me, take a look at the full casting list and you might be surprised. If you can, watch it!
I must add that the only reason why I left these two films behind is because I was so sure they were big here and would be easy to find/buy. I am so sorry I was wrong. It's just another reflection on America's media content choices. Films with history, meat, and bone often get neglected and relegated to the bottom feeders. I guess because they are educational to some degree...hey, don't hate, be honest, I think it's true.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A very excellent movie 'Queen', 30 May 2006
Author: muffin73 from United States
I feel this is an excellent movie/miniseries,because not only of the cast itself but,also due to the impact it causes on the viewer.It is very appropriate for all ages (in my book any way).It opens and shows many real life sagas from an era gone,but still existing in todays society.The cast was well picked for the movie and the plot is great. It's the kind of movie one could watch more than once and never loose interest in due to the plot/moral and simple outcome of pore-civil and post civil war life and time.The whole movie is long,but well worth the time it takes to watch it.I'm glad I didn't miss this one and more glad it is available as an online movie.Any who has watched I am sure enjoyed it and for those who haven't yet seen it I really encourage you to.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful Family Film, 29 December 2004
Author: Shari (AfricanVenus84@aol.com) from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I fell in love with this movie when it came out in 1993. You never saw
many movies about slave families or just the impact of it on the
survivors around that time, so my father and I delved into it. We have
it on tape and I still continue to watch it. As a matter of fact, I
just finished watching it, which is why I decided it was time to make a
comment. Halle simply slipped into the role of an interracial woman
struggling to find a place to belong. The questions of identity, what
is blackness, what is whiteness are strong and well-dealt with in the
film. I would encourage anyone to watch it and to take a class on Slave
Life and just learn about the impact this made on the people who
endured it. I like that Alex Haley was able to trace his history so far
and be able to make a moving testimony to the people in his family. Not
many African-Americans today or blacks in general who were displaced by
slavery can do that. It's a luxury very few can afford, so it's
beautiful to see on film.
There were memorable characters and everyone did a truly sound job within each role. I would have loved to play in a movie like this. It strives to encounter the meaning we place on skin color, the lives destroyed by other's prejudices and ignorance. Queen was an incredible woman that existed. Despite the horror and pain that filled her life, she managed to retain her dignity as a beautiful and resilient black woman. I like the subtext of her trying to define which race she was, but ultimately having to find solace in the very side that is most difficult to live with: the black side. She reconciled her dual racial heritages, but realized that she must live her life as a black woman to just survive. It's rather funny when you think about it. Playing "white" was dangerous at that time for a woman like her.
It speaks volumes about race conscious in America and the devastating legacy it has left for all of us. No one of mixed parentage should have to "choose" a side. That is unfair and makes the society seem ashamed of something that has been going on since the beginning of time. Everyone on this planet is mixed. There is no pure race, and slavery was an obvious moment in time when trying to purify the races (as the KKK tried to maintain in the film) was not going to work out as planned. These were people who worked side by side and endured the same sick environment. It is no wonder that they would turn to each other. Whether in violation of power or in love, this is humanity in all of its depravity and strength. "Queen" really makes you think about the state of America as it was then and what it is now...
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Best of the Roots series, 5 January 2002
Author: George Park from Allen, Texas
Alex Haley's grandmother Queen's life portrayed in a grand production.
Halle Berry brings to life all of the pains and sorrows of a life of grand
adventure and deep dispair.
No expense or detail is spared in this spellbinding tale of life as it used to be in the deep south.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The indignities and atrocities of slavery and freedom., 24 November 2012
Author: mark.waltz from New York City
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Almost 20 years after the initial chapters of Alex Haley's "Roots", TV
audiences got the opportunity to see another side of his family. This
time, it is his father's side, as seen through the eyes of the
half-white Queen (Halle Beery), a dainty but strong young woman,
daughter of a slave and the white man she loved. The horrors of being a
"half breed" are shown through humiliation by both the darker blacks
and the whites who still think of her as a black girl regardless of the
truth. Unlike "Roots", the story does not open in Africa; It starts
before Queen's birth, exploring the hidden romance of her mother Easter
(Jasmine Guy) and the son, Col. James Jackson Jr. (Tim Daly) of her
master. Daly marries the beautiful belle Lizzie (Patricia Clarkson) but
continues to love Easter, which brings out Lizzie's resentments. Queen
grows up, becomes the companion to her half sister Jane (Jane
Krakowski) who never finds out the truth. The men go off to war,
tragedy strikes for the women remaining behind, and when the war is
over, Queen must find her way as a free woman without a home.
Clarkson swings back and forth between resentment and gratitude, showing her anger towards both Easter and Queen, yet relying on Queen during moments of crisis. Ann-Margret, as the plantation matriarch, expresses sympathy towards Queen, but never refers to her once as her granddaughter, only acknowledging that she cares for her like she would for any other slave that they nurse through illness, feed when they are hungry and bury when they die, just like their Christian duty says they should. It is ironic that during the war while the men are away, it is Queen who holds the two women together, but as soon as the war is over, things are back as they were before, at least as far as how the white women treat her.
Most of the white characters are treated in a fair manner, with some more racist than the others. It struck me as ironic that one woman let it slide off her tongue that black people didn't have souls as if she was saying good morning. This happens after Queen has had encounters with two obsessively preachy spinsters (one of them being Sada Thompson of "Family" fame) who try to take Queen's illegitimate baby away from her in order to save its soul from its damned mother. Thompson has one sweet moment where she explains to Queen that she wished she knew how it felt to be loved by a man, but that doesn't stop her from eventually crossing the line with her.
Berry shines as Queen, whether finally allowing herself to explode at Clarkson for all the indignities she's placed on her without ever saying thank you, or dealing with the sight of her lynched lover hanging with body burnt beyond recognition on a noose. There is one moment close to the classic Leslie Uggams/Sandy Duncan scene in "Roots" (where Kizzy sees Missy Anne years after she betrayed her) when Queen is about to board a coach, and the wealthy white woman, thinking she's also white, thanks her for her company, cursing all the free blacks she must now share the coach with. Berry's look of satisfaction as to knowing the truth is hysterical.
This is a lavishly detailed mini-series about a quarter of the length of "Roots" (only three parts) with one of the most beautiful and lush musical scores I've heard on film. While, unlike "Roots", this only focuses on the legacy of one character, it still triumphs because it is about her rise above the indignities she's undergone and her perseverance to survive. The wonderful Danny Glover is excellent as Alec Haley, the loving man she meets as her life begins to settle down in place, even though she faces madness after catching on fire in a kitchen accident. Her experiences in the ultra-cruel mental institution are difficult to watch. When Queen revisits her first home to show her two sons where she was brought up, Berry shows much strength as she encounters the still bitter Lizzie in one final confrontation. It is ironic that with all of the religious talk jumbled in her head that her own inner strength and faith ultimately rewards her, and the legacy of her descendant will be set to tell all of his family's remarkable journeys.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful story!, 29 September 2008
Author: danny-418 from Reykjavík, Iceland
There are two sides to every story the saying goes. For Alex Haley one side was roots the towering chronicle tracing Severn generations of his mother's family. The other side comes to the screen in Alex Haley's Queen the remarkable history of a paternal side of the author's family. David L. Wolper (Roots The Thorn Birds) is the executive producer of this acclaimed adaption of the story Haley was working on when he died. Halle Berry plays Queen daughter of a slave (Jasmine Guy) and a plantation owner (Tim Daly). During the turbulent decades of the antebellum South the Civil war Reconstruction and beyond she searches for a home in the two cultures of her heritage - and at times is shunned by both. Rejection and hate are no match for her unconquerable will however. Ann-Margret Danny Glover and Ossie Davis are among the many stars of this poignant uplifting final chapter of the Haley legacy.
7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Get real, 7 March 2005
Author: gijane71 from United States
This is the mini series version of Alex Haley's paternal side to his
family (ROOTS covered the maternal side). The trials and tribulations
this woman goes through are cringe inducing - racism from both her
blood lines, sexism from practically every male with a pulse. Not an
easy sit through - it is long and tedious and the leading lady's
performance and horrible makeup really tried my nerves.
I tried to sit through this, really it did - but Berry's performance left much to be desired. Jasmine Guy was better than anticipated and well, it's Danny Glover who is consistently strong in every performance. The big question I have is this: why didn't they get Jennifer Beals for this? Queen was supposed to be so fair complected and Caucasian featured that she passed for white - what the heck is Halle Berry doing here? It is ridiculous to see her normally beautiful complexion covered in Kabuki like make-up and everyone walking around like this is normal and the cast really look strained trying to act like Halle Berry looks like a believable white woman. This leaves the credibility of the production in serious question.
I give it marks for trying, most of the stars are for Danny Glover, but overall - see it only if you have to for school but I recommend reading the book
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Berry's performance lacks emotional understanding of her character, 26 December 2012
Author: lisarussell49 from houston
The miniseries was good but Berry's performance was not one of a disadvantaged poor black slave, but rather like a slave that is slow, or mentally retarded. It would have did her well to read the Slave Narratives in preparation for her role. Yes slaves weren't educated and couldn't speak the white man's English well but they were smart, clever and intelligent. It was painful watching Halle Berry in this role and it took away from what could have been an excellent story. The other actors made up for this, but I kept wondering if the character of Queen was supposed to retarded. Great performances by Jasmine Guy who played the role with authenticity and Danny Glover was great, as was the actor playing Abner.
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