British actress Naomie Harris has been nominated for an Oscar for her role as a crack-addicted mother in the 2016 indie drama Moonlight. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some other roles she's played in her career.
Stephen Williams is a Mormon filmmaker from Utah. This is a tight, gentle little film based on an episode from his own life.
A gay son, David, comes home after his father's heart-attack. Estranged from his mother and straight-arrow brother, held at arm's length by his loving but distant father, and embraced by his adoring and liberal sister, his arrival is inopportune. But the kindly Mormon bishop is accepting of David's presence. But when David realizes that the bishop and his brother intend to anoint his father with healing oil in order to give him a blessing, David asks to be included. But since David is living in a "state of sin," he cannot participate. In the end, Mormonism is a patriarchal religion. And the decision to include David or not is going to be his father's...
The film is obviously heart-felt and real, although some of the dialogue is a bit stilted and awkward. The actress playing David's mother is a bit too stiff and unyielding to be real, but the bishop's role is played beautifully.
The nice thing about this film is that even non-Mormons will understand and appreciate the emotional content and message of the film. Anyone familiar with the Isaac-Jacob-Esau story in the Old Testament will find many parallels as well. But for those audience members who are deeply estranged from their families, the film tends to lack resonance. For some, blood-family may not be as important as the created-family that one creates on one's own.
But nevertheless, this is a great little film that not only has an element of reality, it has heart.
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