Black or White (2014)
Starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Jillian Estell, Bill Burr, Mpho Koaho, André Holland, Jennifer Ehle, Paula Newsome, and Anthony Mackie
Directed by Mike Binder
With the biracial Eloise caught in the crossfire, Black or White raises questions of culture and race with neither side coming out unscathed. It's intriguing to see a film that doesn't shy away from both sides taking responsibility for actions rather than just playing the blame game. There are moments on both sides of the race aisle here that were rather revealing and admittedly rang a little true. Costner gives a good performance, but I'm still a bit unsold on Octavia Spencer who seems to be playing a very similar role here to her Oscar-winning turn in The Help (which placed in my Top Five Supporting Actresses in 2011). There's been little stretching by her as of late (partly due to scripts that are stereotyping her a little) and I'd like to see a bit more from her in the future.
Admittedly, despite digging a little deep on the race issue, the overall story of Black or White rings a little generic. The conclusion, which I thought may prove to be powerful, felt like a bit of a cop out. Then again, this is based on some form of true story, so me calling it a cop out may be an unfair assessment, but cinematically, it disappointed. However, the lead-up to the final act kept my interest more than enough to warrant this one a watch.
The RyMickey Rating: B-