Phenomenal don't-miss-it film. (by alwaysfuelingthefire)
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: the title is no longer "Black and White". In the film, it is now "Black Or White".Wonderful script and beautifully acted film. It honestly tells the story showing the love, anger, hurt, tolerance and intolerance on both sides. A human drama that truthfully addresses issues of race and family issues with an interracial child in the middle. And FUNNY! Some great laugh-out-loud moments in the film. Terrific cast lead by Costner and Spencer but the two young actors playing Eloise and Duvan are flawless.It is very rare for me to gush about a film. And I <more>
rarely ever post a review. But...do NOT miss this film. I'm afraid it may not get much of a push. This film will make it on word-of-mouth. So see it and spread the word.
Kevin Costner and cast were top notch. I had no idea what to expect going in but loved this movie from start to finish. The film was screened in Santa Barbara with a Q & A with Kevin Costner. He believed in this movie so much that he put up his own money to have it made. Thank you Mr. Costner. It was such a treat to see such a thought provoking movie with humor and great acting all while dealing with subject matter race relations in an honest and though provoking way. Kevin Costner is at the top of his game and Octavia Spencer steals every scene she is in. The little girl who played <more>
Eloise held her own and had one of the most touching scenes in the movie when Costner's character is reading her a bedtime story.....priceless!Highly recommend it!
A personal story containing larger themes, but mostly LOVE (by AngelBurns)
Truly impressed beyond expectation with "Black or White." Thanks to Mike Binder's well chosen words and insightful direction, combined with Kevin Costner's BEST WORK to date, this film is a gem! Based on the true experiences of the writer and his wife, the story jumps out with it's affection for children of every origin. Despite flaws and folly, all involved are neither abject villains or unstained saints in their efforts to love and handle loss...including when the legal system baits them with the worst of behaviors. What a pleasure to see effort and the constant <more>
regrouping of decent folks, even when they become adversaries.Costner, though modest about his "drunken" portrayal gives one of my favorite renditions of it...another aspect of this movie that resonates with truth. As an actor, I very much appreciated the opening scene: watch his concentration! I was amazed how the character's entire reality was broadcast immediately through his eyes, before the circumstances were revealed. It should be no surprise that I found myself with wet cheeks again and again watching. In between laughing!Supporting cast is phenomenal, warm, accessible. Octavia Spencer is a treasure yet AGAIN, vibrating with mother-earth heart, with those eyes as expressive as a Bharata Natyam dancer. Paula Winsome goes head to head with her as an earnest judge, not lacking in droll response. The child lead is suitably adorable, and the hilarious tutor an unsung hero. There are no wasted talents here.What a script Binder and company present. Food for thought, compassionate points of view, the rewards of effort and trying again and again to bridge the gap, to further our human condition. Starting at home! This is a clear message of hope for our future. Marvelous, wonderful place to engage your mind for two hours. THANK YOU to cast and crew for a delightful experience!
Racism as a plot line has become a very safe and simple one as of late. In the past any film that even approached race was a risk, anyone working on the film would have to be very gutsy to attempt it. However as of late racism has become kind of a cop out and has become a very safe option. This however it not true of Black and White.As soon as the movie begin we are faced with tragedy, our main character Played by Kevin Costner has recently losed his wife and is forced to raise he bi-racial granddaughter all by himself. As you could imagine this is no simple task, especially when you have a <more>
drinking problem. Throughout the movie we see our protagonist struggling to raise his grand-daughter alone and struggling with his heavy drinking problem that he has. To make matters worse the grandmother on the other side of the family want custody of the child.The depth this movie goes into is incredible. In the raging custody battle both sides attempt to bring up dirt on the other to prove that they are not suited to raise a child. With twist and turns and even a downright suspenseful finish Black and White tackles many things movies haven't done before. First and foremost out hero is called many times a racist and even brings up racist remarks from time to time. Many black stereotypes are brought into question and reviewed throughout the court trial. And without spoiling anything the end contains a both amazing and very controversial monologue The highlight of the film in my opinion Amidst tragedy, family, fear, and prejudice Black and White is a film that needs to be seen. It is a movie that is able to throw all this sorrow at you but still leave you with a smile when you leave the theatre. A must see.
I was not surprised to read that this film was based on actual events. I am sure that these situations have played out numerous times when it comes to mulatto children. The one thing that did surprise me is that Kevin Costner felt so strongly about this film that he financed it himself along with his wife . Being mulatto myself I was happy to see that a film that broached the subject was finally being made and it could not have come at a better time with all the racial issues of recent days. Mr. Costner recommended that you see this film with someone that does not look like you; and I agree. <more>
This film is about two grandparents that deeply love their granddaughter, Eloise Jillian Estell . With the death of Elliot Anderson's Kevin Costner wife, Rowena Jeffers Octavia Spencer feels like she would be the better person to raise Eloise than Elliot and the battle ensues. Rick Reynolds Bill Burr is engaged to handle Elliot's case and Jeremiah Jeffers Anthony Mackie is representing Rowena. Both of these attorneys have their hands full because both Elliot and Rowena have issues of their own. The character that I enjoyed the most was Duvan Araga Mpho Koako who is the tutor hired by Elliot to help Eloise stay focused on her studies among other things. The theater was pretty packed and I think that everyone in the theater was enjoying the film. You can tell that it is a good movie when everyone else reacts the same way that you do to certain situations. This film has the potential to generate a lot of dialog which I think was the intent to begin with. I had never heard of writer/director Mike Binder, but I think that after this film, his name will be more recognizable in the future. What I got out of the film is that it is not Black OR White .. It is Black AND White. I think that the entire cast did an excellent job and I would highly recommend this film to everyone.
Costner brings racial conversation to next cultural and social level! (by aneculai)
Kevin Costner's "Black or White" is one of those break-through movies who bring the silver screen art to a next level. In his case, the movie brings the cultural and social conversation about race to a level it should have been long time ago. The movie suggests a new paradigm for the topic of race, a level where the social and personal relationships between people no longer include the skin color. The movie portrays with a keen sense the tension and resistance our cultural biases pose to any attempt to remove the racial aspects from the confrontations between people of different <more>
skin color. In "Black or White" Kevin Costner breaks the pattern of action hero he has got us used with, displaying acting traits of the highest level. With the camera close-ups on his face most of the time, his eyes add immense value to his acting, displaying real emotions and deep feelings only those who experienced parenting can truly understand and react to. Overall, "Black or White" is a new paradigm of both his personal acting and the cultural and social topic of racial tension.
run, do not walk, to see this film (by coolcleangreen)
funny, brilliant, honest script and actors who pull off both harshness and sympathy. special mention to Anthony Mackie, though I know all the critics will give a lion's share of praise to Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner. Mackie aka the Falcon delivers a powerful, resonating speech that simply must be heard. the judge was awesome too, absolutely spot on. i saw this with my mother at the Toronto Intl Film Festival Elgin Winter Garden Theatre. the room was packed, and the crowd was mixed not just racially but generational too. this is truly a universal film despite its title.i highly <more>
"Black or White" is a well-titled, important and entertaining film. (by CleveMan66)
In late 1991, Michael Jackson released a song calling attention to the need for racially harmony. The lyrics repeat the sentence: "It don't matter if you're black or white." Although the movie that shares the song's title doesn't use or reference MJ's number 1 hit, "Black or White" PG-13, 2:01 very effectively reinforces the song's message with a story that's both a pleasure to watch and very timely.Kevin Costner stars as Elliott Anderson, an L.A. attorney who, with his wife, was raising their bi-racial granddaughter, Eloise the delightful <more>
Jillian Estelle . Eloise's mother / Elliott's daughter died in child birth at the age of 17 and the 23-year-old boyfriend who got her pregnant promptly disappeared. Now, Elliott's beloved wife is killed in a car accident and Eloise's care falls to Elliott. Eloise is a happy 7-year-old who has a very close relationship with her grandfather, but her surviving grandmother, Rowena Octavia Spencer feels that Eloise is missing out. Rowena is a real estate agent and entrepreneur who lives with her large family live in Compton. Rowena and her family are welcome in Elliott's home, but that's not enough for Rowena. She feels that Eloise needs a mother's love or at least a feminine touch , more regular contact with the rest of her family and a stronger connection with her racial heritage, things that Rowena feels Elliott cannot provide. In a sense, Rowena is right. Elliott hires a math tutor Mpho Koaho who becomes a big part of Elliott and Eloise's life, and Elliott takes some time off of work, but at the end of the day, he's basically raising Eloise by himself. It's a very tough time for Elliott and Eloise , but also for Rowena and her family, who miss the little girl. Both sides of Eloise's family love her dearly and want what's best for her – although they disagree on exactly what that is.When Elliott refuses Rowena's suggestion of shared custody of Eloise, Rowena decides to sue for full custody. Rowena's brother, Jeremiah Anthony Mackie , is also an attorney and has agreed to represent Rowena in her custody case. At the same time, Elliott's law firm is representing him in his fight to keep his granddaughter with him. For her part, Eloise wants to stay where she is, but the growing tension around her is causing her significant stress – and some confusion. As complicated as this situation already is, Elliott and Rowena each have issues that work against their cases – and what's best for Eloise. Elliott drinks – a lot even using Eloise's math tutor as his driver at times , but there is some question as to whether Elliott is actually an alcoholic. On the other side, as the custody battle is just heating up, Rowena welcomes her prodigal son, Reggie Andre Holland back in to her home and changes her custody petition so that Reggie is actually the one fighting for custody. Reggie is the girl's father, but he has a criminal past which includes drug use, which Reggie keeps insisting is no longer a problem. Rowena loves her son, but seems to place an undue amount of faith in his character and his potential. Compounding these challenges is the fact that Elliott and Rowena each have a blind spot regarding these problems of theirs. Both sides also have to struggle against the prejudices that each has toward the other, prejudices which they may not even fully appreciate themselves."Black or White" is a very good title for a very good movie. Considering recent racially-charged court cases, it's an especially timely movie – and one that hints at a solution to these issues. Having two Oscar winners Costner and Spencer as the main characters gives the film gravitas and Mike Binder's script and direction make for a movie that plays fair with both sides and all characters. This film is an opportunity for all audience members to reflect on their own prejudices and whether or not, in the final analysis, many of the racially inflammatory issues of our times should even be a question of "black or white". This film, like Michael Jackson's song, imagines a world in which people are judged, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." The story's resolution may be a bit simplistic, but also shows us that we, as individuals and as a society, don't have to regard every issue that divides us as a case of winners and losers, black or white. This movie is well-deserving of a look – and at least a little post-multiplex contemplation – no matter if you're well, regardless of your race. For an effective, heartfelt, occasionally humorous and entertaining exploration of one of the most important issues of our time, I give this one an "A-".
A tastefully done film about race... (by MediaboyMusings)
A drama dealing predominantly with the topics of race and a custody battle over an adorable 7-year-old girl is inherently fraught with potential hazards for any filmmaker. Screenwriter and director Mike Binder is more than up to the task, however, drawing broadly from his own experiences as the adoptive father of a bi-racial child to inform the narrative of the excellent Black And White, which had its world premiere at TIFF. Producer and star Kevin Costner, who reteams with Binder after the pair collaborated on 2005's The Upside Of Anger, believed in the project so strongly that he took <more>
the uncommon step of financing the indie's $9 million budget himself after studios both big and small shied away from the movie's racially-charged subject matter. Costner plays wealthy L.A. lawyer Elliot Anderson, a man who's a little too well-acquainted with fresh tragedy in his life. Black And White's opening scene finds Elliot having just lost his wife in a car accident, relatively soon after his teenage daughter died whilst giving birth. The couple had been raising their mixed-race grandchild, Eloise played by Jillian Estell , since the drug-addled father had ended up in prison. Elliot's navigation through his grief and mourning is complicated by his new responsibility as Eloise's sole caregiver, an escalating drinking problem, and soon a custody dispute with Rowena played by an efficient Octavia Spencer , the paternal grandmother of Eloise who feels her granddaughter would be better off living with her side of the family.Black And White raises numerous thoughtful points about race and prejudice, most notably during an Oscar-bait courtroom scene where Elliot speaks at length on the topic with a reasoned perspective that also reflects the character's flaws. It's Costner's best role in ages, as he plays Elliot with a perfect balance of both deep vulnerability and brusqueness. Newcomer Estell demonstrates impressive range that helps elevate Black And White above the trappings of over-sentimentality that frequently torpedoes films centred around cute kids. Also strong in supporting roles are Toronto's Mpho Koaho as an overqualified tutor and driver hired by Elliot and stand-up comedian Bill Burr as a law associate and friend of Elliot's. Burr, whose hilarious Monday Morning Podcast I'm a regular listener of, shows surprising depth in a meatier role than he got to play on the other acting gig he'd be best known for, as one of Saul Goodman's henchmen on Breaking Bad.Black And White tastefully deals with its delicate subject matters of race, loss, and family strife, resulting in a touching and powerful film. And aside from an ill-advised final act action scene that allows one character an opportunity at redemption, Binder's screenplay and his character's performances feel very relatable and grounded in reality.mediaboymusings.blogspot.ca