11/13/10

My 'For Colored Girls' Review

For Colored Girls



I went to see For Colored Girls last night for the 1st time, so I decided to give my little review on the film....

First off, I just want to send off my respects to EVERY actress in this film, for doing such a superb job. Everyone played their roles well. My two stand-out performances in this film (as far as Oscar consideration goes), is Kimberly Elise and Loretta Divine.



Kimberly Elise

Oscar Worthy Performance

 Kimberly Elise-Kimberly played a mother of two young kids, who was being abused by their insecure father (played by Michael Ealey--good performance from him btw). She worked as an assistant to Janet's character as well.  In every scene of Kimberly's character, I felt her. I felt her pain, I felt her tears, I felt her emotions and I felt her drama. It is like I had an emotional connection to her character, and I haven't even been through half of what she's been through. That ladies and gentlemen, is what you call an Extraordinary Acting Performance. My only problem when Kimberly's character (is a problem I actually had with several of the actresses characters), was there wasn't enough focus on her character, to bring out all you wanted to see from her performance. I think this may have had something to do with too many characters and scenarios in the film.


Loretta Divine
Oscar Worthy Performance
Loretta Divine-Loretta Divine was a scene stealer in the entire movie. And when I say she stole the scene, I mean She Stole The Scene. Her character was an emotional wreck, who was dealing with infidelity problems from her boyfriend. I thought she recited the narration of the poems the best in the film , and she was so versatile in her performance. She was comedic, she was dramatic, and she played her part like it was the last of her. Loretta is over due for any type of award that is geared for acting. I would be devastated if she doesn't receive an Oscar nod for this


Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton-I've been a fan of Thandie since Beloved. Her character was originally suppose to be Mariah Carey's character, but I am glad the changes were made, as I do not see Mariah pulling off some of the dramatic scenes Thandie performed, to make it believable. Thandie played her part well. She played a woman who used men for sex (not for money, but you know, the way men use women), who had a disconnection from her mom (Whoopi Goldberg) and her sister (Tessa Thompson). She was covering up all her pain from when she was molested as a child by her father, and became pregnant and had an abortion by a bootleg abortionist recommended by her mom. When Thandie's character was in dramatic-mode, she delivered. My problem with her character wasn't her performance at all, but the fact that when she got into dramatic-mode, her scenes shifted too quickly into another character's scene, and took away from her performance. Her performance had Oscar potential, but because of the scene shifting, it interfered with her character.





Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson-From my understanding, Tessa Thompson plays on the show Heroes. I never saw her before this film, and she isn't one of the mentioned characters in the film's trailer or previews, but she had a major part in the film (which I do not understand why they did not mention her name in the promotion of the film's previews nor trailer. Anyhow superb actress, Tessa played a high school  senior getting ready for college (a dancer) who became pregnant, also sister to Thandie Newton and daughter to Whoopi Goldberg's characters, and dance student of Anika Noni Rose's character. Her scene in the hospital after she had an abortion by a boot-leg abortionist (played swell by Macy Gray), was powerful. Potential Oscar performance by Tessa Thompson, but again, not enough focus on her character for any major award consideration.


Anika Noni Rose
 Anika Noni Rose- Anika played a dance instructor that met what she thought was good man. To make a story short, she invited him to dinner and he raped her. After that point, I really got lost with her character. I mean there were a few scenes after her rape incident that were touching, but I do not think you can go from such a powerful such as rape, and then kind of lose the focus of that character. Her performance could have been Oscar worthy but yet again, the focus drifted away from her too many times.

Janet Jackson
   
Janet Jackson- Janet played a magazine editor (rich), who was married to a down-low brother, who she eventually caught HIV from. A far cry from her roles in Why Did I Get Married and Why I Did I Get Married Too, Janet has given us the best acting performance of her career. I never knew this was in Janet. Even though there wasn't much focus on her character, and I felt her character was unnecessary, to the film, she delivered in her performance. Her scene in the bedroom confronting her gay-husband was deep. I felt her character. Kudos to Janet



Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad- Phylicia played the nosy- manager/resident of the apartment building most of the characters lived in. She was the over-see-person of all things that happened in the building. Her character was wise, and she had an emotional connection to Kimberly Elise's character (cause she was the baby-sitter of her two small kids), and she had an emotional connection to Thandie Newton's character (because she was once like her). Her scenes I felt were the calmest of all the characters, and she delivered in her role as well. Oscar consideration? I don't quite think her character was Oscar-worthy, but definitely worthy



Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg-What can I say about Whoopi?? Whoopi played an overly-religious mother of (Thandie Newton and Tessa Thompson's characters), who did not want her younger daughter to fall into the foot steps of her older daughter. Whoopi's performance was really good, and could have possibly been considered for an Oscar had her character had more focus. What I think could have added to her character, was at the end of the film, when all of the women came together (minus Whoopi) and recited poetry to connect to each other, is have Whoopi walk up very dramatically, reciting poetry to both her daughters, in a powerful riveting way. I think they should have showed her forgiving her eldest daughter in that scene. I really saw no redemption between her and her eldest daughter, and that would have added so much more to her character had they done it that way.

Kerri Washington
   
Kerri Washington-I think Kerri's part in the film was unnecessary to be frank. I think her character was an over-edition to the film. She played a social worker (to Kimberly Elise's kids) wife of a loving police officer (Hill Harper), who had her own problems not being able to bare her husband a child, being she had caught an untreated std earlier in her life by cheating lover. I think she had the least most impact in the film (performance-wise). I think they could have added to her character a little more, since they had her in there. For instance, when she was telling her husband what happened to her when she was young, they should have shown the scenario in re-enactment as she was telling him  the story, which would have added more emotional connection to her character. Because through-out the film, you never felt her character, even though she is a good actress. She came a long way from playing Sean Patrick Harris sister in Saved The Last Dance.


Overall, superb film, the best of Tyler Perry's films. Will go down in the ranks of "greatest films with a black ensemble cast,", along with The Color Purple, Boyz In The Hood, Soul Food, Waiting To Exhale, Raisin In The Sun.  I think Tyler did a swell job with the conveying of the poetry in the film and getting the best out of the actresses. My only gripes with him are:


  • He did not build up to the powerful scenes that occurred in the film...they just happen unexpectedly, out of nowhere. In other words, he did not prepare the audience for what was about to happen

  • He did not focus enough on the characters for the audience to really get into. I am pretty sure if there were more focus on many of the characters, we could see multiple Oscar nominations, because the film's characters had so much potential

  • Eliminate some of the characters. I think Janet and Kerri's characters were unnecessary, and did not add much to flow of the film

  • Gave the film a different title. When I watched this film,I did not just see a black woman's problem, I saw something ALL women could relate to. For the title alone, I think he may have steered away a diverse audience, which could have resulted in a bigger turn-out 

    Basically, at times throughout the film, I felt disconnected from the characters. Once the focus was on the character, you start to get into that character, and then 'poof', you find yourself being disconnected too quickly, and into another character. The problem was never Tyler under-performing the actresses, cause he did a spectacular job bringing the best out of them. I guess there lies the inexperience of Tyler as a director, but a starting point in the right direction nonetheless. I think the cinematography could have been more precise and more riveting. But overall, a well-done job from Tyler Perry. 

    Overall out of 5 stars I give the film 4.5 stars




    Film Trailer
     

    Please go support this film, it may just change your life.

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