"Miss Celie, I Feels Like Singin'!"
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 11/21/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just bought this disc and watched it last night. I bawled my eyes out. I haven't seen it in many years and had forgotten what an incredible film it is. I gave it only 4 stars because of what many other reviewers have said about the DVD -- it's not double-layered and requires a "flip" right after Celie and Shug kiss.I was particularly moved by Oprah Winfrey's performance. We all know her as OPRAH now. I'd forgotten how amazing she was in COLOR PURPLE.I think if Spielberg made this movie today he might not shy away from some of the heavier themes like he did in 1985. But his filmmaking technique was incredible for this film. It plays like an old-fashioned Hollywood movie. The colors are gorgeous. (How did they get all those perfectly purple flowers in that field ? ) The camera work is exciting.Everyone has their "crying" moments in COLOR PURPLE. These are mine: 1. The breakup of the sisters ("Ain't no mountain, ain't no sea..."). 2. Celie gets the letter ("I got two children..."). 3. God's Tryin To Tell You Something ("See daddy, even singers got soul") and, of course, 4. The end.It's about life. It's about love. It's about us. Thank you Alice Walker, Steven Spielberg, and Whoopi."
Color Me Pleased
Matt Howe | Washington, DC | 02/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having just watched the two-disc "Special Edition" of COLOR PURPLE this weekend, I believe this newer version has outdone the original single-disc dvd that was released in 1999 (which you had to flip over halfway through in order to see the second half of the film.)The second disc of this "Special Edition" contains several excellent documentaries about the making of COLOR PURPLE. Most refreshing is Alice Walker herself, who is wise and thoughtful about the movie-making aspect of her Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Steven Spielberg has some reflectful things to say as well - he admits to his own limitations in filming the Shug/Celie love scene. (Alice Walker calls the scene "sweet").Oprah appears looking glamorous and very different from her mid-80's self. As she tells the story of how she won the part of Sophia, one cannot help but be moved. Whoopie Goldberg, too, is very humble about the process of winning then filming the role of Celie.It's wonderful to see the new interviews with the cast (Margaret Avery looks incredible!) - and shocking that COLOR PURPLE did not win in any of the categories it was nominated for at the Academy Awards. I always thought that Akosua Busia gave an incredible performance as Nettie - did you know she shares a screenwriting credit on Winfrey's BELOVED?Watching the film again was a wonderful experience. The dvd looks incredible and sounds great - no complaints there. (It is dual-layered, so it is not necessary to flip the disc any more!) Spielberg can still tug my heartstrings with this movie. I cry on cue at several scenes. His direction and the actors' performances are truly wonderful. My only qualm is that THE COLOR PURPLE is an old-fashioned film in style. It is more like GONE WITH THE WIND than BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA. There are some themes that Spielberg glosses over that could have been examined more closely. The film is not diminished by this. Another director, however, would have made a differently styled film. THE COLOR PURPLE is one of my all-time favorite films. I'm glad to have this "Special Edition" in my dvd library."
One of my top 3 films of all time!
John K. Reed | Harrisburg, PA United States | 01/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the ever so popular view that the film is a condemnation of black men I (a black male) have to disagree. What the film so adeptly demonstrates is the very harsh realities that far too many women (black women in particular) have had to endure for far too long in a male dominated society. The strength of all of the female characters is indominatable. That being said we should not forget how important racism was in creating the attitudes of black males then as today. That doesn't excuse the behavior nor eliminate the responsibility for the acts but it does however help to explain them. Spielberg's direction is better (in my opinion) in this film than in any other film of his career (Schindler's List) included. For him not to have received the Oscar as best director and for this film to have been denied the Best Picture award is one of many great injustices perpertrated by the ... hollywood establishment. The most dramatic (not emotional mind you) scene in the movie is when Celie is getting ready to shave Mister at the same time as her son is undertaking his ritual and Shug has intuition about Celie's murderous intent. Absolutely flawless. The music was perfect as it built in intensity.You'll laugh, cry, think and be entertained. What more could you ask for.Whoopi Goldberg is one of the best dramatic actresses I think i've ever seen. The same can't be said for her less than comedic talents. Oprah and Margeret Avery were outstanding and so deftly contrast Whoopi's performance and underscore the many different indignities suffered by all of the women albeit in different ways.It ultimately is a triumph of the human spirit."