In 1950s Massachusetts, a wealthy black woman engaged to a poor white beatnik learns about her family history. The stories revolve around the racial and class complexities of interracial and class-based marriages.
A plantation owner's son falls in love with a slave named Easter and together they have a Mixed race daughter named Queen. As Queen grows up, she faces the struggle of trying to fit into ... See full summary »
This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
A rich man's wife finds she has a bad prenuptial agreement with an even worse husband. Over drinks with a stranger, she fantasizes about doing her husband in to void the prenupt. The ... See full summary »
Amy Holden Jones
A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.
Born poor in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic, erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success ... See full summary »
Rita Rizzoli is a narcotics police officer with a plethora of disguises. When a drug shipment is hijacked, the thieves don't know that the drug is unusually pure, and packs of "Fatal Beauty... See full summary »
Shelby Coles is engaged to marry talented white jazz musician Meade Howell, but the pair face opposition from both Meade's family, who object to an inter-racial marriage, and Shelby's parents, who want her to marry a professional. As Shelby is afflicted by premarital doubts, handsome Lute McNeil arrives on the scene, determined to make Shelby his at any cost.
Overall, I thought this was a self-indulgent, long-winded film. I didn't read the book and was fascinated to read how different it was. Still predictable is the glorification of "poor" and rich or accomplished as somehow suspect. All of these are the same kind of stereotypes as the film attempts to criticize.
There are certainly some good moments but most of the time, I forced myself to watch so I could finally see how it ended. I'm sorry to say, it wasn't worth the wait. The best part of the film is of course the gorgeous Halle Berry, who doesn't have to do much to be spectacular, and the portrayal of upper class black society. That was as much a revelation as Spielberg's film in which we learned the little known fact that slavery was begun in Africa and there were Black free men in the North during slavery--something of which many people are completely unaware.
Additionally, I don't see bias towards interracial marriage here. I see bias against building enough character development to have us care about the people.
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