This film, like the novel, will stay with you. Oprah's portrayal of Sethe, the young woman who escaped slavery but is haunted by her dead baby girl, is raw and honest.
Oprah tried but a lot of the things in the novel--the magic, time warps/changes--just didn't come across very well in the movie.
When this film came out, I chose not to see it as I was in the midst of reading the novel. I didn’t finish reading it, but started over and finished reading it a few months ago. The novel is a difficult read, but that is true of many masterpieces of literature. But reading it made the film easier to understand. This film concentrates on ex-slaves trying to live free after being freed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment. The film flashbacks to the slave period where we see a mass hanging and torture and we see the great physical scars on the backs of slaves from their massive whippings. I think that this film was just a little too tough for the aged white Oscar members to nominate it for best film of the year in 1999. It would take another 15 years when 12 Years a Slave won the best film award. The Oscar membership is now just a bit less white (skin color and/or attitude) than what it was back in 1999, so if it came out today, I am confident that it would at least see quite a few Oscar nominations. Some film-goers will mis-perceive the magical realism developed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and used by Toni Morrison as horror.
This DVD has a lot of scratches on it and therefore I could not watch it.
It would skip over entire sections and also freeze.
I hope someone looks this over when I return it tomorrow.
This movie was all over the place. A black post slavery period piece/ghost/horror movie with odd romantic interests. Well acted, but the thing felt LONG and dragged with a high WTF factor. I felt lost quite a bit and disinterested often. Gutted my way through to the end, which spared it the coveted 1/2 star rating.
Although this movie wasn't a huge success by Oprah standards, don't let that stop you from seeing this. I found it highly emotional and I'm a white boy from the East. lol
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