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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Color Purple (1985)



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By the time Steven Spielberg made A Color Purple, he had already proven he was a master at great entertainments with Raiders of the Lost Ark, had already proven his talent for horror with Jaws, and had already proven his ability to capture and hold the imagination like no other filmmaker ever had. He had yet to prove to film snobs everywhere he could excel at making so-called "real" films, too. A Color Purple did that.

The movie tells the life story of Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg with a performance that was nominated for Academy Award and should have won. Celie is a poor girl in the South during the early 1900s. The story starts with her as a teenager and follows her troubled life through to middle age. She's passed from an abusive father to an abusive husband and is oppressed from all sides. There's two missing children somewhere, taken from her at birth, and a close sister that her husband refuses to allow her to contact. One of her only friends, played by Oprah Winfrey in another Oscar-calibre performance, is crushed in spirit by a segregated society of double standards. But as brutal as this story is, it's one of hope. No matter how low things get, it's not to late to start living.