Constellation chronicles the lives and loves of an African-American family in the deep South as they are forced to come to terms with a tumultuous past marked by an unrequited interacial ... See full summary »
Constellation chronicles the lives and loves of an African-American family in the deep South as they are forced to come to terms with a tumultuous past marked by an unrequited interacial affair. The film explores the way in which the family patriarch must confront his demons amidst the changing racial fabric of society and his own family. Written by
Jordan Walker- Pearlman
Constellation Shines with the Brilliant Beauty of Its Namesake
"Constellation," which begins in 1940's Alabama, tells the tale of a secret, forbidden love between a black woman named Carmel and a white soldier named Bear, whose romance is cut short when he is shipped overseas to fight in the war. Flash forward fifty years to the funeral of Carmel - who never married after breaking up with Bear - which serves as the pretext for all the principal people in her life to gather together to air out their grievances and to thrash out the personal relationship problems that have haunted them all their lives. The participants include her emotionally distant brother and his two ex-wives; her two adult nieces and their respective men folk; and Bear himself, who, despite the fact that the two of them were kept apart all their lives by the restrictions of a racist society, has decided to pay not only for the services, but to put all these people up in one of the swankier hotels in Huntsville, Alabama. There is much that is good in the movie, starting with the performances of Billy Dee Williams, as a man incapable of making emotional connections with the people in his life, and Rae Dawn Chong, as the daughter who has the most trouble dealing with this reality. They are ably abetted by Lesley Ann Warren, Zoe Saldana, Melissa De Souza, and Hill Harper. The movie also boasts a flavorful soundtrack, filled with an eclectic mixture of musical styles, ranging from classical to hip hop to spiritual. The Huntsville setting also provides a refreshing change for audiences weary of seeing New York, Los Angeles and Chicago constantly being recycled in film after film, as if they were the only urban centers movie makers had to choose from. Yet, although "Constellation" is a decidedly mixed bag as far as family and social dramas go, it has enough elements of quality to make it worth checking out.
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