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Movie Review: Shock value goes AWOL in Black or White!

Yvonne Williams

Perfect title, meager content! Yep Black or White appears picture perfect; Applaudable theme with its noble aim of trashing out issues on race and forgiveness, all star cast, what else could you want in a movie right? – Wrong!

You know those typical movies where you can just tell the end from the beginning? (Probably take a nap in between) Hmm hmm, Black or White falls right there, no surprises, nothing.

The American film Black or White promises a whole lot more than its actual delivery; with an all star cast; the likes of Academy award winner Octavia Spencer (Rowena) Jillian Estell (Eloise), Kevin Costner (Elliot Anderson) , Bill Burr (Elliot’s best friend) Andre Holland (Reggie) and Anthony Mackie (Jeremiah Jeffers), the film pitiably fails to impress.

Written and directed by Mike Binder, the film basis on the custody battle between two families for 9 year old Jillian Estell (Eloise). At the opening scene we see Eloise’s Grandfather Kevin Costner (Elliot Anderson) who has just lost his wife to a car accident and is suddenly left with the responsibility of raising the little girl, which he gladly accepts!

Prior to this time, Elliot together with his late wife had been catering for Eloise, since her mother (his daughter) lost her life at seventeen during childbirth and the child’s estranged drug addict father Andre Holland (Reggie) didn’t step up to the plate.

Elliot’s wife dies and Reggie’s mother Octavia Spencer (Rowena) decides Eloise deserves to be with “her black family” to learn more about her roots. So she fights for custody inspired by good intentions for the child and somewhat un-noble intentions to do a little payback to Elliot for depriving Eloise from knowing her true essence as a black.

A fierce battle between both families begins with top notch attorney Anthony Mackie (Jeremiah Jeffers) taking sides with his sister Rowena and using every tactic applicable including the racism card to gain full custody of Eloise.

The question is – will they succeed or will Elliot’s team step up their game when issues of alcoholism and racism are thrown in their faces? What happens when Eloise’s father comes into the equation?

Like we said it’s all predictable but we can’t help but try to give room for a little curiosity can we? Lol…

Black or White movie might lack that wow factor, but hey if you’re looking for a typical Hollywood race movie – she might just be the one!