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|Index||207 reviews in total|
Eve's Bayou received no Oscar nominations, yet it is one of the finest motion pictures of 1997 -- a fully realized production from the screenplay and direction to the acting and cinematography. It depicts a prosperous black family in early '60s Louisiana. The father and husband (Samuel L. Jackson) is a physician who philanders yet dearly loves his children. When a wedge of suspicion comes between them, events proceed toward a tragedy that may even have supernatural implications. This is one of the few black films in recent memory without a whiff of racism in the air. In part, that's because the world it depicts is wholly black, while the situations are timeless and universal. The cast is superb, from Jackson as the life-loving and sometimes misunderstood patriarch to Lynn Whitfield as his fearful wife and Meagan Good as his willful eldest daughter. The point-of-view character is Eve, the youngest daughter, played with heartbreaking fervor by Jurnee Smollett. Also strong in support is Debbi Morgan, as Jackson's sister. But the most credit should go to Kasi Lemmons, a relatively unknown actress who shows a rare artistry in her writing and directing debut. Trust us: She makes Good Will Hunting's Ben Affleck and Matt Damon look like amateurs -- and they were Oscar-nominated.
recently had the good fortune to (re-)catch eve's bayou on TV. i don't
know how anyone can help but fall in love with eve.she is sooo
vivacious and adorable.an angelic child with invisible devil horns.
why it never received the same recognition as steel magnolias , i will never know, but it is a "takes ya back" kind of flick,as tho if you breathed deep, you could smell the bayou or the dinner that was on the table.
i came to the site , however to find the screenwriter's name. it has Mia Angelou all over it. i think it is time for me to buy the DVD.
prayers for all of those souls in the bayou that just felt the sting of Katrina. ,ghostie
This little movie is in my top 20 list after having seen well over 3000 movies. Jurnee Smollett's performance as the young Eve left me mesmerized for days. It was so evident the work was a labor of love, and it delivers. The story is provocative and memorable. The performances are all excellent and well integrated. There are good reviews here that do a fine job of praising this film so I won't elaborate. I simply suggest that thoughtful viewers will find this a thoroughly satisfying little masterpiece that on a next to nothing budget puts most Hollywood blockbusters to shame.
This came highly recommended by a NYT reviewer, but yikes, before I was 1/2 way through it became real torture. Cast is mainly female--old & young--and they just scream and carry on in jealous nonsense with fortune telling and "voodoo?" thrown in. Samuel Jackson-- who the heck convinced him to play in this mess-- is reduced to a clichéd prop. 1960 Louisiana Bayou?? with blacks constantly in haute bourgeois costume with Connecticut accents is beyond laughable. The latter is cool--if that's what the director wants--but the story is pure soap opera slush! Bayou photography is great, and set against these ridiculous characters it comes as a great relief. The movie just slogs along with a cast of over-dressed harpies, both old and young.
A family drama like no other, Kasi Lemmons' "Eve's Bayou" is a bleak,
mesmerizing rhapsody of family-destruction, defiantly uninterested in
peddling Hollywood-style uplift. Lemmons doesn't pretend, and I won't
either, that this movie is for everybody. But anyone who cares about
ravishing film-making, superb acting and art willing to dive into the
mystery of family's secrets will leave this dark drama both shaken and
This film simply works as a character study, pitilessly well observed and intimately familiar with its terrain. Mrs. Lemmons based her film on a previous short film she'd made. She describes the film as a semi-portrait of her own family. Although is it quite a heavy film, "Eve's Bayou" is far less dolorous than might be expected.
From first time writer/director Kasi Lemmons comes a dark drama of a Southern family facing problems and struggling to keep their name above water. All told through the eyes of a 10-year girl named Eve, it is a gloomy and eerie tale of murder and deceit. The ensemble cast is one the best I've ever seen, highlight performances are provided by Samuel L. Jackson, Debbi Morgan, and Jurnee Smollet as Eve. Lemmons captures rural Louisiana with haunting results, complete with voodoo, adultery and breathtaking cinematography. The Academy Awards ignored Lemmons' directorial debut, which is unforgivable. Don't make the same mistake the Oscars did. Rent "Eve's Bayou" and you will feel what the academy apparently couldn't.
This coming-of-age saga begins with Eve's v.o. narration: "Memory is a selection of images. Some elusive, others printed indelibly on the brain. The summer I killed my father, I was 10 years old." It is to the director's credit that, though Louis' death is known from the start, it's still shocking to observe the specific circumstances in which he is killed and the effects of his demise on the family. Cast against type, Jackson reveals a suave, romantic side to his versatile talent, which so far has been limited mostly to action and pulp-fiction fare. The riveting female characters are deftly etched by fine actresses. Highest marks go to young Smollett as Eve, a precocious girl who pries open her family's secrets and then tries to save its members from the consequences. Whitfield is compelling as the urbane, proud wife-mother who seems to "have it all," except her hubby's fidelity. The sexy Debbi Morgan excels as the superstitious and intuitively impulsive Mozelle, a young widow whose three husbands never survived her affections. Morgan's performance was worthy of Oscar consideration. Technical credits are polished: The smoothly assured mise-en-scene and authentic look (pic was shot on location by the gifted Amy Vincent) seldom indicate that "Eve's Bayou" is a first directorial effort. 10/10
In my opinion, Kasi Lemmons had created one of the best directorial debuts in modern film history. Eve's Bayou is a well directed, written, and acted film. As I mentioned before, the direction was helmed by Lemmons(as was the screenplay). She captured some of the most beautiful images of Louisian I have ever seen. It's also obvious that detail is very important to she and her cinematographer. The acting is excellent all around, but the standouts are Jurnee Smollet, Debbi Morgan, and Samuel L. Jackson. It's amazing how Lemmons was able to attain such a outstanding performance from an 11 year old(Smollet). Debbi Morgan performance is a revelation. This woman was simply amazing, and worthy of an Academy Award. If you're looking for a great film, then Eve's Bayou is the film for you.
"Eve's Bayou" oozes with lush scenery, powerful performances and that
rare, quality director who gives purpose to everything in the film.
"Eve's Bayou" is a beautiful story, and director Kasi Lemmons is just
the woman to tell it.
The film centers around 10-year-old Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett, whose only prior film credit was a bit part in "Jack"). As Eve searches for her own identity in a family that is in a constant state of emotional chaos, "Eve's Bayou" serves as a coming-of-age story, as it tells the tale of a seemingly perfect family hiding pain behind closed doors.
The Batiste family is well-respected in the community. But as people well know, sometimes looks can be deceiving.
Dr. Louis Batiste (Samuel L. Jackson) is a bit too kind to his female patients, and his philandering ways are beginning to eat away at his family. Though this problem could be ended with a quick divorce, his wife Roz (played passionately by Lynn Whitfield of "The Josephine Baker Story") would rather ignore the problem than confront it. By doing so, she feeds the fire that is slowly destroying her children.
Eve is an observant child, and though she is not exactly sure what is going on, she knows her father is to blame. She finds a confidante in her aunt Mozelle (the radiant Debbi Morgan), who is possibly the most intriguing character in the film. Mozelle is a capable psychic, and she begins to sense danger ahead for the family.
Smollett is outstanding in her portrayal of Eve. The emotion she evokes is incomparable. A great deal of credit for this performance can most likely be given to Lemmons. It takes a passionate and driven director to get this out of a 10-year-old girl.
Whitfied and Jackson are equally powerful in their roles. They have great chemistry with one another and with the child actors.
But Morgan's tormented Mozelle is the stand-out of the cast. Her eyes say a thousand words in every scene. The raw emotion Morgan can convey with the blink of an eye far surpasses what most actresses can do with an entire monologue. Morgan proves deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress from the very moment she enters the story.
As for the direction and writing, what can one say? Many words come to mind: brilliant, phenomenal, momentous ? but none does it justice. Lemmons is a master of her craft and deserves praise far and wide for this gem of a movie.
In the new drama, "Eve's Bayou," the story of an African-American
family in Louisiana is told reminiscing through the eyes of the
10-year-old title character, and many of the consequential scenes in
the film involve children. So, this excellent script could have been
ruined if the children didn't step up to the challenge, and I must say
there simply could not have been better performances by the young
actors in this movie.
Louis Batiste (Samuel L. Jackson) is the head of the story's central family and is also the town doctor who is constantly called upon to fix every illness, especially the lustful cravings of the local women.
Louis comes across as the perfect father and his children adore him for it, particularly his eldest daughter, Cisely (Meagan Good). The mother of this prosperous family, Roz (Lynn Whitfield), begins to suspect Louis has been unfaithful, and Cisely believes her mother is unjustly accusing Louis.
All of the family turmoil becomes too much for young Eve (Jurnee Smollett). She soon finds herself hating her father for the wrong reason, and suffers for it after the film's penetrating climax.
Writer/director Kasi Lemmons' script is excellent and her direction shines, especially her perplexing, black-and-white portrayals of Eve's memory.
The acting is great all around, but the brilliancy of Smollett and Debbi Morgan as Aunt Mozelle is what made the movie for me. It's a real Oscar magnet.
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