Saturday, February 28, 2015


Written & Directed By: Ava DuVernay 
Cinematography By: Bradford Young 
Editor: Spencer Averick 

Cast: Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Sharon Lawrence, Edwina Findley, Maya Gilbert, Dondre Whitfiled

When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Ruby drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband's well-being while he's incarcerated - leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process.

I have waited awhile for this film to be available. Over the years it seems every time it was shown or there was a screening I seemed to miss it. It was very hard to track down and find. So you can imagine my excitement once Netflix finally had the film.

It's been so long I have seen her follow up film SELMA funded and released by a major studio and her first film I WILL FOLLOW before I finally got to see this film or should I say before it was finally available.

This film was well with the wait for me, but I advise to see this film as soon as possible. The film is better and stronger then one might expect. Just as the film seems to be about expectations and not only living up to them, but living past them and allowing yourself to accept those burdens as well as weaknesses. Though to also find a sense of inner peace within them.

This film is definitely stronger, soulful and more assured then director Ava DuVernay's debut films I WILL FOLLOW and can see why she was trusted with making the film SELMA.

The film has strong performances all around this film. It also makes available to see the talent and promise of actor David Oyelowo clearer here then in Other films seem to barely use him or give him one dimensional portraits to play. He hasn't been this captivating since RED TAILS. Where he was one of the best things in it. You can see why he went onto play Martin Luther King jr. In director DuVernay's follow up film SELMA.

Ava DuVernay had wanted David Oyelowo to star in the movie but before she could approach him a friend of hers who was considering investing in the film asked an actor on a plane his opinion of the script. The actor was Oyelowo, who contacted DuVernay and asked for the part.

The film not only is alive within each frame. Even in the shadows but also announced the arrival of a new cinematic voice. Who is colorful, subtle, strong and poetic in her storytelling.

The film is like an anti- Tyler Perry film as it shows promise, growth, strength and creativity. Yet not open to histrionics and bass line cliches. Not necessarily a crowd pleaser either. It's a film full of color and moods. That can be melodramatic at times, but yet still surprising.

It's a romance full of drama that truly revolves around the idea of sacrifice. The film starts out simple yet displays other complications of life and the drama wherein and within.

The film says a lot in it's Silences and takes it's time to tell it's story though worth it. Never demeans itself by going to cheap theatrics and hysterics. Happily even at times when it does or more falls into danger of becoming preachy or a message movie. It seems to take a step back and recognizes it. Then chooses to reserve and resolve it by taking a more emotionally true action.

The film stays low-key never announcing itself intentions or plans even when you think you know where it is going.

No one in the film is a saint. No one is evil. They are real characters trying to do their best with the situations handed to them.

All relatively good hearted characters who keep making mistakes for both the wrong and the right reasons. Dealing with consequences and learning or at least trying their best to move on past them.

This film though a powerful drama can be along the company of great in screen romances liked THE NOTEBOOK, LOVE JONES, TITANIC, LOVE & BASKETBALL, LOVE STORY only not as tragic and maybe more realistic in it's results and settings

Grade: A

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