Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Night Catches Us

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
Profanity:Very strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situation
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Violence and police brutality with tragic consequences
Diversity Issues:Racism and sexism are themes of the movie
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011

Writer-director Tanya Hamilton and two of today’s most gifted actors have produced a sensitive drama with a powerful conclusion. Night Catches Us takes on some of the most complicated and painful issues of the era that saw the struggle for civil rights shift from “We shall overcome” to “Burn, baby, burn.” It is rare that we see those issues portrayed, rarer still that we see them explored with any recognition of complexity and nuance, and just about unheard of that we see how much more complicated and nuanced the issues were for the women.

It is 1976, and the United States is celebrating its 200th birthday. Some Americans are still feeling marginalized, neglected, or locked out.

Marcus (Anthony Mackie) who returns to his home in Philadelphia following the death of his preacher father. He seems rootless and restless. But it is immediately clear when he sees Patricia (another exquisite performance by Kerry Washington), a lawyer and single mother, that they have some history and that he wants to know whether they might have a future.

No one else seems happy to see Marcus, even his brother. It is apparent that the people he left behind feel abandoned and betrayed by him. Everyone seems to think he is the one who gave the police information that led to the death of one of the leaders of the Black Power movement. But it is also clear that he is a good man. Could he be protecting someone?

This is a sincere, thoughtful exploration of complex issues and complicated people. Washington and Mackie, who appeared together in “She Hate Me” give performances of great depth and dignity, spare but endlessly compelling and evocative. The story’s ambitions at times outstrip the ability of first-timer Hamilton, but it is those very ambitions that give the film its exceptional power. At its conclusion, we have to confront our own assumptions to recognize that it is really not Marcus’ story after all, and the whole movie opens up to deepen our appreciation and insight.



Previous Posts

The Inside Story of "The Princess Bride" by Cary Elwes: As You Wish
Fans of The Princess Bride, which means pretty much everyone, will love the new book from Cary Elwes (Wesley), who takes us behind the scenes for the inside story of the making of the film, from his nervous audition (his imitation of Fat Albert saved the day) to the most dedicated fans (one had "As

posted 8:00:44am Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Believe Me
Will Bakke has followed his two thought-provoking documentaries on faith with a remarkably smart, funny, brave, and heartfelt first feature film that explores religion and values without ever falling

posted 11:06:16am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike delivers a stunning breakthrough performance in this week's "Gone Girl." She's been a favorite of mine for a long time, for her elegant voice and precise acting choices. It's a good

posted 8:00:23am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Telling Time in "All That Jazz"
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies -- Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz" for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable to use it due to rights problems with the movie clips h

posted 3:19:48pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on PBS: The Makers: Comedy
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: "The Makers," the story of women in America.  Tomorrow's episode is about women in comedy. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxHMgSF7UI[/youtube]

posted 8:00:45am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.