In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 89 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 1 Dec 2016 and The 89th Annual Oscars on 26 Feb 2017.
Here is my 26th review of the 89 chosen Films…
“[quoting from W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Of the Training of Black Men”] Herein the longing of black men must have respect: the rich and bitter depth of their experience, the unknown treasures of their inner life, the strange rendings of nature they have seen, may give the world new points of view and make their loving, living, and doing precious to all human hearts. And to themselves in these the days that try their souls the chance to soar in the dim blue air above the smoke is to their finer spirits boon and guerdon for what they lose on earth by being black.” – Camille
Number of Times Seen – 1 (21 Dec 2016)
Brief Synopsis – A young black teenager must learn to fend for his family after hos father is imprisoned for stealing food in the Depression era South.
My Take on it – This is yet another example of a film adaptation of a best selling novel that doesn’t do justice to it’s original story.
I recall reading this book as a teen, and feel that they did a better job there of expanding on the whole situation this family faced.
The movie does a nice job of transporting us back to the South during the 1930’s and it feels quite genuine.
They successfully show us the plight of sharecroppers back then along with the solutions proposed in order to overcome their new difficulties once the father is arrested.
The film just doesn’t capture the emotion of the book IMHO.
This was an ok film, but not one that I would think would be worthy of getting nominated for Best Picture.
Bottom Line – Does a great job of recreating depression era 1930’s in the South. Nice to learn about the hardships faced by sharecroppers and the way that the family tries to overcome the difficulties of their situation. Having read the book years ago, I recall the story being more focused and better on the pages as opposed to on the screen.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Cicely Tyson commented in a TCM interview that director Martin Ritt’s cinematographer (principal cameraman), while shooting the famous “homecoming sequence” with Tyson and co-star Paul Winfield, was so moved by their performances that he was certain he missed framing the action properly in the shots and respectfully asked them to do the difficult scene again. They obliged, but a later examination of daily rushes revealed that they got shot and acting perfect the first time, and take 1 was a print. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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