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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 178

Chicago Tribunei
Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

BEST nie comr AVAILABLE FOR lUCROHUttNa A Section 7 Chicago Tribune, Friday, December 20, 1985 "The Color Purple" IWnl-revtow. Nothing but i woman 'Color Purple-Powerful, daring, sweetly uplifting I by aMMVi SpWbtvQ; tofotnptay by Mmno Mtytas on ivm oy mmom mm; BnawgrKntJa i KM by Maaal Kahn; it dMgn by IkM Kw pmtnd tMn iuat) if i -i i I i 'r i 1 1 f. if 'M 4 'hii nai a surprise; jusi wnen uie noiiday movie season ap- Haiady, Flaw aanjal and Qulricy Jenaa; a Warn Baau wnim al McCtog Com Woodaa ouaytng giiin. Wad TIC CAST aa OaawQIowjr Caaa WniaiaokaMnj Slain Away ManamAm 8oa Oprah Wkaay Hapo WaardPugn Nana AkoauaBuala VouqCala OaaaaJaimi Mar Mnh Cma qua Raa Dawn Cnong MaaMaa Oaateay Pa Ondy BaMOutfkxy peared to be setting ready to set some kind of record for consecu Mai MM Jr. tive disappointments, along comes Steven Spielberg's triumphantly emotional and brave adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Color Pur- Ele," the saga of 30 years in the tortured ves of two black sisters.

The film is bound to be compared favorably with such other black entertainments as "Roots" and "Sounder." But that's selling "The Color Purple" short This film is just as conventionally emotional as those films indeed it triggered one observer to burst into tears late in the film on the sound of a single word, "Mama." But to its everlasting credit, sweeter, more uplifting tone. The director who tugged at our hearts with the rubber alien E.T. works at an even deeper emotional level with flesh-and-blood characters this time. In that way "The Color Purple" can be viewed as Spielberg's successful attempt to enlarge his reputation as a director of youthful entertainments. For this critic, "The Color Purple" now ranks with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as Spielberg's best.

So dismal has been this holiday season's offerings that one is tempted to continue stringing superlatives without ever getting into the story. Basically, the story involves the separation of two sisters who were abused by their father. Nettie, the pretty one, is denied the hand of a man she fancies. It turns put to be a lucky break, for her father chooses to give away the older and plain-looking Celie, who has had two children by her stepfather a boy and a girl who are sold to a preacher and his wife. A frightening force is the husband to whom Celie Broadway comedienne Whoopi Goldberg now belongs.

A brutish, philandering man, "Mister" Danny Glover from "Places in the treats Celie like a slave trader's possession, beating her, carrying on publicly "The Color Purple" is also a film that takes risks. Specifically, it takes an incredibly strong stand against the way black men treat black women. Cruel is too kind a word to describe their behavior. The principal black men in "The Color Purple" use their women both wives and daughters as sexual chattel. True, this is a period film set in Georgia filmed in North Carolina from 1909 to 1943 and today's black men, I sup- pose, can hide behind that fact.

But another fact the great number of single, black female parents today surely draws the behavior in this film close to many contemporary homes. Whoopi Goldberg Celie projects the quiet, deep tone that makes "The Color Purple" a joy. That Alice Walker's novel was filmed at all as a major motion picture is surprise enough, considering the recent treatment of black girls and women in American movies. During this last summer, of dozens of teenage movies, there wasn't a single black female face to be found. And then there's the content of the novel that depicts incidents of incest, rape and lesbianism.

Nothing in the book appears to have been soft-pedaled in the film, and yet "The Color Purple" couldn't have a Continued on page A few changes can't ruin the story of 4A Chorus Line' Redford mars the beauty of 'Out of Africa' By Gene Siskel Movie critic By Gene Siskel Une Movie critic -kick he drama of "A Chor- iwnweview: oun in mam dm, us Line" on stage was "7 3 (: 111 i that all of the dancers' ini aSLtm j-tT here is really only one miHifinns ncenrrf A ad. notni and aaoaMTby Acnaal i thino nrrnno uritti i Sydney Pollack's am- bitious love story. "Out no right in front of us in one un- dm: phoyii a jfor, broken shot. The principal ttSZnmXIEl characters rarely left the stage jJ "jj" there wasn't even an interims- ix? rm po-ii. sinn THE CAST The effect was to give us a g-j behind-the-scenes look at show KaaaV.7.7.7 business, an effect magnified by Ja-" iiStSSl the huge mirror at the back of Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in "Out of Africa." could see ourselves and which ET" literally placed us backstage.

km .7 7. Add to these striking physical SST. UA AmAtinnlla Mill Ml of Africa." And that one thing can be summed up in two words Robert Redford. The time of the film is 191S and Redford plays the elusive white hunter who catches the eye and the heart of Karen Blix-en Meryl Streep, a wealthy young woman who has come to Africa to free herself from her constraining family. She is so desperate to taste life to the fullest she even marries a cruel man Klaus Maria Brandauer who loves her money more than her.

But then standing on a railway car entering Africa, she spots Redford and it's a thrill, if not love at first sight. My basic problem with this otherwise -sumptuous and well-. 'Out of Africa" MifWreview: Out wtth Bedford FiuduuaJ aid laajlal Iw tydiay naaia. awaanpay by Kurt Liiadaa baaad an tta wrtaiQ al teak DfeWMix Judah Thwnan and EipuI TnAlnaMj diuaiunantd toy David Watkln; adltad by Fradarle biivis iiiuuutiutei fciauu- Lary Ta ai stones ana aynamic aancing ong of a long line of young performers hoping to get a job, and you acted film is that I never was able to accept Redford in character. In other words, as I watched their scene together I saw Karen Blixen embracing Robert Redford and not his character of Denys Finch Hat-ton.

Streep, the consummate chameleon, once again uses her voice as an instrument of deception, creating a convincing Danish character out of little more than a voice and period cos- Contiuued on page HavrlnQ wd SfwMoct KdMj production in BaquN ana ouoyine tod PQ. TNCCAST Km MMytSlfMp have the formula for one of the ihfe? AmeriCa" mU" shying away from the project The film of this much per- no-win situation. It tney .2 filmed it straight, then Michael after nearly 11 years of artistic ininoi and financial differences, with Bennett' the show many logical directors reported- Continued on page KHohMl.

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