A Family Thing (1996)

Though you can't believe a minute of this rousing, racial drama, 
you can certainly *enjoy* yourself.  The plot-- about a good ol' 
Arkansas boy (Robert Duvall) who discovers, meets, and eventually 
befriends his black half-brother (James Earl Jones)-- is absurd, 
sure, but the dialogue crackles and the actors sparkle.  Though 
Duvall is a bit too tightlipped, his foil, James Earl Jones, is 
fantastic.  (I love his range: cowering and commanding all at once.  
After this and CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY, it's *great* to see Jones 
emerge from behind all of those voice-overs and assorted supporting 
roles.)  As good as their unexpected chemistry gets, both Jones and 
Duvall pale before schoolteacher-turned-actress Irma P. Hall.  Her 
scene-stealing performance as their blind-but-still-sees-everything 
aunt is one of the first Oscar-worthy turns of the year.  Directed 
by Richard Pearce (LEAP OF FAITH).  (Rated "PG-13"/94 min.)

Grade: B+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: March 7, 1996

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