Beloved (1998)

Oprah's Big Movie is pretty good as a ghost story, an eye-opener 
as historical fiction, and, well, downright tedious as a four-
character chamber drama.  (Scene after scene after scene in that 
dark 'n' dreary farmhouse.)  Plenty of piled-on horrors, both real 
and imagined, makes this an ideal anti-date movie.  (See it with 
someone you don't like.)  Plenty of drama, too, that may move you 
to tears if you take things as seriously as the characters do.  
(Even with allowances for the slavery-era subject matter, director 
Jonathan Demme OD's on the solemnity.)  The principals, however, 
are all very good.  (Maybe not of Oscar caliber, but still very 
good...)  It's a butt-number, but don't leave early or you'll miss 
one of the film's few memorably over-the-top moments:  Irma P. 
Hall leading a posse of bible-totin' mommas, determined to get to 
the bottom of this monster-movie mess.  All that's missing are the 
raised pitchforks...  With Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, and Than-
die Newton, who does an impressive impersonation of Linda Blair in 
THE EXORCIST.  (Voice, that is, not pea soup.)  Adam Brooks, Ako-
sua Busia, and Richard LaGravenese are credited with the screen-
play.  (Rated "R"/172 minutes.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: October 26, 1998

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros - Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros