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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